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Allegedly polluting plant departs in 2016.



ESCO Corporation Announced Wednesday it will close its Main Plant in Portland. The plant, which produces steel parts and assemblies, is scheduled to end production in late 2016 or early 2017.

ESCO is a global leader in mining, oil and gas, construction and industrial equipment.

The plant currently employs 177 full-time staff. A release from the company said ESCO will support those employees with severance packages, retention-related compensation and outplacement services, the company said in a release.

“This was a difficult decision, particularly given the impacts on our outstanding employees, but a necessary one based on the realities of our business today and going forward,” said Cal Collins, chief executive officer, ESCO.

“The expenses associated with operating our Main Plant are simply too high to justify, in part due to the challenges of operating an industrial facility in a Portland neighborhood, and the protracted downturn in our markets. We need to dedicate our resources where they will create the greatest value for our customers and this move reflects that necessity.”

ESCO will also reduce its Portland workforce by as many as 70 salaried employees. Other facilities surrounding the Main Plant site, including the corporate headquarters and the recently launched Hank Swigert Center for Innovation, remain at the location. Manufacturing will continue at ESCO’s Portland Plant 3, located on Northwest Yeon Avenue.

Neighbors, particularly parents of children attending nearby Chapman Elementary School, have long complained of poor air quality, many blaming it on heavy industry plants like Esco. The plant is at NW 25th Avenue and Vaughan St, on land that is gradually being encroached by housing and offices.

Contract Publishing

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