By RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — Executives from Southern Fabrications Industries (SFI) in Tennessee reportedly visited the company’s plant in New Boston on Wednesday to deliver news that the steel fabrications facility will be closed within 90 days or less. Located on Grace Street in New Boston, the plant currently employs about 90 people.
The company has not confirmed this announcement, but employees and other independent sources working with the plant have confirmed the reports.
One SFI employee, who asked not to be identified, said the announcement was made by SFI President Billy Lerman visiting from the corporate office in Tennessee.
“They’re going to give us a month’s severance pay and pay our insurance for another month, and they said there might be openings in one of their plants for us if we wanted to relocate. They said sales are down and we’re losing money. He (Lerman) claims we lost $150,000 last month,” the employee said.
The employee said the company reduced its number of workers last fall, and again this year. He has been employed at the plant for 16 years, since back when it had different owners, and said he was not interested in relocating to another SFI plant.
According to the company’s website (www.sfifab.com), SFI opened in Tennessee in 1956. The company took control of assets at M&J Industries in New Boston in December 2007 and made it SFI of Ohio in 2008 with 125 employees. In spring 2010, the company hired even more to expand its roster to 180 employees. The 125,000 square foot plant in New Boston specializes in components for the heavy crane and construction equipment industries. The plant had fabrication contracts with the U.S. military and private-sector customers, including John Deere, FedEx, UPS, Grove, Caterpillar, Black & Decker, General Motors, Kubota, and others.
The company also has plants in Memphis, Tenn., and Conway, Ark.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or email@example.com.