McClarin Plastics Shifts Production From Alabama to Changzhou


McClarin Plastics LLC will close its Elmore County, Ala., plant in early August, putting 35 employees out of work as production shifts to the contract molder’s other U.S. operations.

CEO Jerry Armstrong said, “the current situation is unsustainable” in a news release obtained by Plastics News about the plant closure and logistical challenges the business faced serving customers from that location.

Company officials did not immediately return a phone call or emails for further comment.

McClarin manufactures large components from thermoformed and fiberglass-reinforced plastics for the transportation, construction, energy, medical, agricultural and rail markets. The company was founded in 1953 and the Elmore County operation reportedly began in 2013.

Despite “significant investments” and related attempts to “improve the operation,” the site struggled to manage losses and stay competitive, according to the news release.

All productions activities there will cease in the beginning of August, according to a company receptionist in Wapato, Wash., who said no specific date has been announced. The business has 35 employees, she added.

The news release about the plant closure is dated July 21 and was sent to local media in Alabama on July 25.

“We truly regret this action is necessary but recognize the current situation is unsustainable.” Armstrong says in the release. “We deeply appreciate the loyalty and hard work of our employees in Alabama and recognize the impact this closing will have on them and their families. We are committed to help make the transition as smooth as possible, including providing severance and other benefits.”

In May, McClarin officials announced they had acquired Custom Composites LLC in Oklahoma City and would be moving some work there from their other three U.S. plants in Elmore, Wapato and Hanover, Pa., where the company is based.

McClarin expects to create 58 new jobs in Oklahoma City in the next five years in addition to the 30 existing positions at Custom Composites.

The company also has a satellite facility in China. McClarin officials announced July 27 that they signed an agreement with Lihe Manufacturing in Jiangsu province to support an assembly facility for crane maker Terex Corp. in Changzhou.

Described as a “manufacturing alliance,” the agreement positions production of composite components for Terex’s aerial work platform product line closer to the Changzhou facility, which cuts its inventory and freight costs. Terex platforms and material handling lifts are used in the construction of shipyards, airports, hotels and factories.

“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to supporting our customers globally and positions us for future growth in Asia with existing and new customers,” Armstrong said in a news release.

McClarin is owned by Blackford Capital, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based private equity firm that acquires and manages middle-market companies with yearly sales of $20 million to $100 million.

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