Sherrod Brown urges General Electric to reconsider plant closings in Ravenna, Warren

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U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown has asked General Electric Co. to reconsider plans to close two manufacturing plants in northeast Ohio.

Brown has sent a letter to Maryrose Sylvester, CEO of GEO Lighting, asking GEO to reconsider plans to close lamp plants in Ravenna and Warren.

The closures would idle more than 360 workers. Employees were informed of plans to close the two sites were announced last week.

"I urge you to consider options that would bring new investment into the Ohio lighting plants instead of shutting their doors and sending hundreds of hardworking Ohioans to the unemployment line," Brown wrote Sylvester. "Please don't hesitate to contact me directly, as I stand ready to help GE bring new investment into Ohio and create jobs for hardworking Ohioans."

Brown urged GE to bring new lighting production to the two plants.

The company notified workers in Ravenna and Warren last week that the company intends to close the plants by the end of the first quarter of 2014.

The Ravenna plant, located on 56.42 acres on North Chestnut Street at S.R. 14, makes high-intensity discharge lamps which are used for roadways, parking lots, warehouses, gymnasiums, football stadiums and other large, public areas.

The plant employs 164 people. More than two-thirds of those -- 112 people -- would be eligible for retirement or a plant-closing pension option, according to General Electric.

GE's operations in Ravenna date back to the early 1960s. At its peak, the local plant employed nearly 500 workers at the 160,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and the distribution center.

The Warren plant, which makes halogen PAR lamps and specialty incandescent products, employs 198 people.

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