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Business and the Economy

West Plains Manufacturing Plant to Shut Down

Regal-Beloit’s Springfield plant along Sunshine Street. (Photo credit: Scott Harvey, KSMU)

A major motor manufacturing plant in West Plains plans to close soon.

According to a statement emailed from the Regal Beloit Corporation based in Wisconsin, the company plans to shut down its West Plains facility over the next nine months. Around 200 people currently work at the plant.

Regal cited the “competitive global market” as a reason for closing the facility. The factory will close in several phases, beginning later this year and finishing by the middle of next year.

David Bossemeyer, director of the West Plains Economic Development Corporation, told KSMU the plant has been important to the community for almost 50 years, and they’ll feel the impact of the closure immediately.

“Naturally, it’s been a shock. 204 individuals will be losing their jobs. And, as you can imagine, if you compare that with Springfield that would be the same as you losing 2,000 jobs,” he told KSMU.

Bossemeyer says the city of West Plains and state and federal officials will work with employees during the transition period to retrain and help find them employment.  But he admits it won’t be easy for the job sector to absorb these losses.

“We do have jobs open within the county that some of these people will probably be able to [be] absorbed by…but, however, we’ve got folks that have worked at that plant as long as 30 years, and the pay expectation is just not going to be the same,” he added.