Basler Electric leaving Caraway
Basler Electric announced Monday, March 2, that a decision has been made to permanently shut down the production lines in Caraway.
"Despite the company's best efforts and the hard work of all of the employees, we simply can no longer profitably produce transformers at that facility," company officials said in a news release from the corporate office.
The press release went on to state, "The decision to close the Caraway plant has been a very difficult one. However, we have experienced declining demand for Caraway's Intermediate transformers for years. The current situation in which we find ourselves, reduced customer demand and falling prices, makes it impossible for us to produce transformers in Caraway and make a profit."
The plant will immediately begin winding down operations and will be completely shutdown in approximately four months. All employees will remain on the payroll for at least 60 days and some will be asked to work until the final closing date.
"We will continue to keep the employees informed of developments as we go through the difficult process of closing the plant. The company appreciates all of the work and sacrifices of the Caraway workforce. We deeply regret that we had no choice but to make this difficult decision," the announcement stated.
Basler Electric Co. opened in Caraway in 1972.
Presently there are 44 employed at the facility. At one time, Basler in Caraway employed 250 people and worked three shifts.
Caraway Mayor Barry Riley said it will be a great loss to the city of Caraway.
"They have been a big part of the community since 1972," Riley said. "I met with them on Thursday and right now plans are to turn the building and property over to the City of Caraway. I feel for the people who are losing their jobs and we, as the city government, will be working on getting jobs back in Caraway. We will continue to search for an industry interested in locating here. It will not be easy with the economy like it is now."
Riley said it is ironic but when he received word of the closing, he was in Washington, D.C. with a group trying to promote economic development.
"I want the people of Caraway to know we will be doing everything we can to try and attract more business and, if possible, industry," Riley said.