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Efforts Underway ‘Behind the Scenes’ to Save Quaker Mfg.

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SALEM, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6 Ohio, says “actions are taking place behind the scenes” in an effort to keep Quaker Mfg. Co. from closing.

In a statement distributed Friday morning, Johnson specifically cited the mayor of Salem, John Berlin, as attempting to keep the plant open “and other local leaders” but did not characterize who is involved “behind the scenes,” thereby suggesting perhaps private entities are involved, which coincides with what The Business Journal is hearing given the plant’s value and order book.

A WARN notice was hand delivered Tuesday to 115 salaried and hourly personnel employed at Quaker’s plant at 187 Georgetown Road. Signed by the company’s president, Fred Dannhauser, the letter said Quaker may be forced to close as soon as June 20 should its senior secured lender, First National Bank, “exercise its right to put a court appointed receiver in place.”

“This anticipated plant closure is contingent upon uncertain circumstances,” Dannhauser explained. “If a receiver is appointed, management of Quaker will be under the authority of the receiver as early as June 20, 2017. Given Quaker’s financial circumstances, and the possibility of a receiver taking control of the company as soon as June 20, we are providing this notice of plant closure, as required by federal law. …After June 20, plant closure and your future employment will be subject to a determination by the receiver (if one is appointed) and/or the financial capability of the company to fund operations beyond June 20.”

Dannhauser has not responded to requests for comment.

Said Johnson in his statement, “The potential loss of approximately 115 jobs in Salem is very troublesome. My hope is that the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) issued to employees stays just that – a warning notice. The notice doesn’t necessarily mean the plant will close, but it was a federal requirement that it be distributed – so there is still time,” he said.

“I am willing to work with any agency or group in an effort to keep this facility – part of the fabric of our community — open and running. …The employees and families of Quaker Manufacturing should know that their leaders are fighting on their behalf.”

Quaker Mfg., founded in 1962, manufactures and refurbishes the large tools used in metal stamping. Its tools and dies are used in the automotive, heavy truck, recreational vehicle and outdoor power equipment industries.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.