Oxford vacuum filter plant closes

Jan. 09, 2013 @ 06:33 PM

A New Jersey-based company that provides vacuum bags, belts and filters has closed a plant in Oxford, affecting 35 workers.

A Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice sent to the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Division of Workforce Solutions said “substantially all” of the 35 workers at the Home Care Industries Inc. plant would be terminated.

Company officials had been trying to raise money from investors and lenders, according to the notice. They believed there was a “realistic opportunity” to maintain business operations and avoid termination of the plant’s employees.

“Regrettably, the company was informed earlier this week from its potential investors that new capital would not be provided,” Christine Watson, the company’s vice president of human resources, said in the Jan. 2 notice. “The lack of new capital has forced us to cease operations immediately.”

The company, based in Clifton, N.J., was founded in 1959 as a vacuum bag manufacturer. It also supplies vacuum belts and filters as well as carpet, rug and upholstery cleaning supplies, according to its website.

Bill Edwards, Granville County’s economic development director, said in an email that county officials were concerned the Oxford plant would close when the company relocated manufacturing from New Jersey to southern Virginia in 2011.

The Oxford plant made vacuum cleaner filters, he said.

“We were concerned that the local plant would close then, but they have been able to maintain operations until now,” Edwards said in an email. “We hate to see the loss of any jobs with unemployment running around 9 percent,” he added.

Granville County’s unemployment rate was 9.2 percent in November, according to non-seasonally adjusted data from the N.C. Department of Commerce Division of Employment Security.

“We will work with the ESC in attempting placement of all displaced workers here,” Edwards said in the email.

Attempts to reach Home Care Industries officials for comment were unsuccessful Wednesday.