Ravenna Aluminum Inc. in Portage County has given notice it will shut down by the end of the year, ending 461 jobs, as executives try to sell the company.
If the sale is not completed this year, the company and its two plants will close because of economic hardship, Ravenna Aluminum said in a letter to government officials.
''The reasons for the closure and layoff are a proposed asset sale of Ravenna Aluminum,'' the company wrote to state and local officials.
''It's our objective to reach a sale by that date,'' said Ravenna Aluminum attorney Bob Deacon. ''If we can't complete a sale by (Dec. 31), we will close the
The letter did not offer an explanation, and company officials said they had no further comment. Ravenna Aluminum has two facilities, one in Ravenna and the other in Rootstown Township. The company has a nonunion work force.
Ravenna Mayor Kevin Poland said he hopes the plant won't actually close, with the loss of all jobs. He said he is talking with economic development people about options, including retaining the present ownership or finding a buyer.
Poland said the company had not indicated to him previously that it was having financial difficulties.
The mayor said executives have not given him details about company issues other than that their specialized products aluminum castings are tied to the U.S. auto industry, particularly Ford Motor Co.
Ford and other U.S. automakers have been struggling financially.
''I think that's really the crux of the problem,'' Poland said.
Ravenna Aluminum is one of Portage County's 25 largest employers. A closure would cost Ravenna about $60,000 a year in income tax revenue, while the county's water plant would lose about $120,000 a year in income, the mayor said.
''More importantly to me are 461 lives,'' Poland said. ''We're going to try to see what we can do. We're committed to trying to preserve these jobs.''
The pending shutdown of Ravenna Aluminum does not affect related companies Ohio Aluminum Inc. or Production Pattern Co., according to Deacon.
Ravenna Aluminum is a unit of the FSI Group (Foundry Systems International), which is a privately held group of corporations based in Ravenna. The company's Web site says the FSI Group generates about $80 million in annual sales.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or email@example.com.