The Eaton County town of Charlotte is dealing with the loss of 225 jobs after a window manufacturer announces it will close this year. Indiana-based Carefree and Philips Products made the announcement last Thursday. The lay-offs will begin as soon as October 21. Employees and community leaders say the closing comes as a surprise.
Interim City Manager Kevin Fullerton says no one knew the closing was coming. He says it will be difficult to replace the lost jobs in a town the size of Charlotte, about 20,000 people. Chamber of Commerce executive director Ann Garvey says the loss will affect other businesses and schools in Charlotte, since 60 percent of the laid-off employees live in the community. But officials say the town is working to bring a new business to town.
Employees declined to comment, but referred questions the company's Indiana headquarters, where a spokesman said the closing was a company decision. There is no word as to whether employees could be transferred to any of the company's six other plants across the country. Although, city officials say they have been told no employees will be relocated.