August Layoffs

Layoffs for Yale Lock workers in East Tenn. expected to begin in August

By News Sentinel staff

A 10-year tax break wasn't enough to keep 230 manufacturing jobs in Loudon County.

In a news release, the mayors of Loudon County and Lenoir City said the first round of layoffs at the Yale Commercial Lock and Hardware facility in Lenoir City are expected to take place in August, with a closure of the plant anticipated in the first quarter of next year. Yale is consolidating the operations with an existing facility in Berlin, Conn.

The company announced its intentions in March, and local officials quickly approved 10-year, 100 percent property tax exemption in a bid to prevent the closure. According to the release, Deputy Gov. Claude Ramsey spoke to officials with Yale's parent company, but the state couldn't identify sufficient assistance to offset the expected savings associated with the move to Connecticut.

"While we have traditionally benefited from corporate relocations, this is the first instance of a company leaving Loudon County for an area in the Northeast that is generally viewed as a higher cost area", Loudon County Economic Development Agency President Patrick Phillips said in the release.