County chips in to save 120 jobs in Norwich

NORWICH – Commerce Chenango’s attempt to redeem the 120-member workforce at Norwich Aero is getting a financial boost from the Chenango County Board of Supervisors.

In light of news that Norwich Aero will leave the area by the end of the year, Commerce Chenango has made it a top priority to help sell the 57,000 square foot manufacturing facility on O’Hara Drive to another manufacturer and spare Norwich Aero’s 120 full-time and part-time staffers from unemployment.

In January 2014, Esterline, the parent company of Norwich Aero, announced plans to close the Norwich plant by the end of 2015. All U.S. production currently performed in Norwich will be relocated to another manufacturing facility in Tijuana, Mexico, but the company has no plans of relocating its Norwich-based workforce.

Commerce Chenango is reaching out to other manufacturers in hopes of selling the Norwich Aero facility and the workforce as a package deal. Last month, Commerce Chenango launched the website to showcase the manufacturing capabilities of the Norwich Aero plant. It is also networking with manufacturers at national trade shows to spark buyer interest.

But Commerce Chenango’s marketing campaign comes at a higher cost than what it has budgeted. On Monday, members of the Board of Supervisors voted to pitch in an additional $15,000 to support marketing and advertising efforts, saying that with so many jobs on the line, the county simply can’t afford not to do anything.

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