150 jobs will be cut in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 June 2013 at 12:00 am

Worthington Cylinders tells employees plant will close in 2014

MEDINA Worthington Cylinders called employees into a special meeting this afternoon and announced the plant, the former Bernz-O-Matic, would close next year with the production shifting to a site in Wisconsin.

The decision will put 150 people out of work locally.

Diane Watts is one of them. She has worked there for nine years in assembly, production and quality control. Her sister has 39 years at the site, while their brother has worked there for 40 years. Watts said there are many long-term employees at the company who will have to look for new jobs.

Worthington bought Bernz-O-Matic two years ago. Bernz-O-Matic had operated in Medina since 1969, making torches.

Worthington makes cylinders for the torches in Wisconsin. By shifting the torch production to Wisconsin, the company told employees it can do everything at one site, saving in transportation costs.

Watts said employees were told the company will ramp up production in Medina, to have extra product while the company shifts production to the site in Wisconsin. The Medina plant will close in mid-2014, employees were told.

The news comes after JP Morgan Chase announced two weeks ago it was shutting its Albion mortgage servicing unit, putting 413 people out of work in September.

“There’s going to be a lot of people in Orleans County looking for a job,” Watts said.