Grove battery manufacturer shuts down, 63 lose jobs
BY SHEILA STOGSDILL World Correspondent
Thursday, November 15, 2012
11/15/12 at 8:02 PM
GROVE — A Delaware County battery manufacturing plant is shutting down most of its production, leaving 63 workers without a job a week before Thanksgiving.
Xtreme Power Grove employees were notified Wednesday and Thursday that the plant would be shutting down immediately, company officials said.
“There were rumors of a possible shutdown like last year, but the plant closing took us all by surprise,” said Lisa Friden, Grove Area Chamber of Commerce president.
Chamber records showed the plant opened in the fall of 2008 and employed 108 people. Employees earned between $11 to $13 an hour and, as of Nov. 30, they will be without health insurance, Friden said.
Most of the workers will apply for unemployment benefits, she said.
Greg Vistica, company spokesman, said a skeleton crew is in place at the plant.
“This action was necessitated by a decline in demand for storage applications utilizing the advanced lead acid battery which we manufacture in Grove,” Vistica said.
Customer demand for energy storage continues to migrate to applications that are best served with other battery chemistries, he said.
The layoffs were a necessary transition to stay at the forefront of an ever-changing market, he said.
“We feel strongly that this diverse product offering and these new partnerships will position XP for continued growth in the energy storage market,” he said.
Vistica said there is a potential buyer — a manufacturer that is in a similar field of green technologies.
The unemployed workers received severance pay and job counseling, he said.