Developing: Bennington Manufacturer Cuts 143 Jobs

Feb 20, 2014

Plasan Carbon Composites, a Michigan based company that touts itself as “the leading provider of automotive carbon fiber components in North America,” has laid off 143 employees at its Bennington manufacturing facility, according to a release from Sen. Dick Sears of Bennington.

4:30 p.m. The Bennington Banner reports that the manufacturing facility is closing altogether in May.

"We're going to be closing the Plasan Carbon Composites plant and consolidating it into our Michigan facility," said James Staargaard, president of Plasan Carbon Composites. "It's not an easy decision, and certainly as it relates to the employees we're doing everything we can to ease the transition for them."

Staargaard said the announcement was made to employees at 11 a.m. Thursday. The plant has 143 full-time employees who manufacture carbon composite car parts, specifically for the Viper SRT and Corvette.

However the Banner reports that the manufacturer will continue to devote resources from its armor business to the Bennington area.

"This does not affect Plasan North America, the armor business," said Staargaard. "In fact, they are moving some assets from Boston to Bennington this week and next week, so Plasan is still committed to the Bennington area, to the armor business."

3:00 p.m. Sears said in a release about the cuts that he and Rep. Bill Botzow (D–Bennington), will “be coordinating efforts with [Labor] Commissioner Annie Noonan and the Department of Labor to ensure these workers have access to all available state and federal resources.”

In the release, Noonan said that the Vermont Department of Labor “will be working with USDOL [the U.S. Department of Labor] on bringing additional funds to the workers through a National Emergency Grant and the Trade Adjustment Act.”

Representatives for Plasan Carbon Composites did not immediately respond to a request for comment. VPR will update this post as more information becomes available.