The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 1:00 am

Silberline closing Decatur plant

Pigment-maker tells state of plans; 50 jobs to vanish

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

Silberline Manufacturing Co. is closing its Decatur plant as it consolidates operations.

The Pennsylvania company notified the state that 50 jobs will be lost as it reduces the workforce, beginning this month. The Adams County operation will close its doors at 2010 Guy Brown Drive for good in July.

Positions include hourly production, maintenance, technical, office and management.

Silberline makes pigments for automotive, graphics, plastics and industrial coatings industries. A decade ago, the company employed about 120 in Decatur.

This isn't the first time the company has cut back its workforce. In April 2009, government officials announced Silberline workers affected by job cuts would be eligible for benefits under the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Act. A similar announcement was made in December 2014.

It's unclear whether the most recent job cuts will trigger the federal benefits, which include training, job search assistance, relocation allowances and weekly pay after unemployment insurance benefits run out.

Founded in 1945, Silberline remains a family-owned business. It employs more than 700 worldwide with manufacturing, technical and research centers in Europe, Asia and North America, according to the company's website.

The company's only U.S. locations are in Decatur and Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. It also has a plant in Mexico.

Stephanie Klatka, Silberline's vice president of human resources and organizational development, wrote the letter notifying the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires companies planning mass firings or layoffs to notify state and local officials at least 60 days before the effective date.

The letter, received by state officials Wednesday, said the company “will permanently transfer all work from the facility to other locations as part of its ongoing effort to shrink its geographic footprint and consolidate operations into a smaller number of locations.”

The first job cuts, she wrote, will be made sometime in the two-week period beginning Monday.

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