Genova

A Faribault plant formerly owned by the now-defunct Genova Products has been purchased by a Utah-based plastics company. (Daily News File Photo)

Genova Products, a now-defunct manufacturer of vinyl construction products, has had its Faribault plant and other assets sold to a Salt Lake City-based plastics manufacturer.

Plastic Services & Products has two locations, one in Salt Lake City and another in Washington state. It is one of the largest producers of ABS pipe (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) in North America.

Before it closed, Genova had around 570 employees in its six plants across the U.S. In addition to Faribault’s plant and its headquarters in Davison, Michigan, Genova plants were also located in Rensselaer, Indiana; Ft. Wayne, Indiana; Paducah, Kentucky, and Sparks, Nevada.

A news release from the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce suggested that the company intended to begin hiring at the former Paducah Manufacturing Plant.

However, company officials, reached by phone, declined to confirm any expansion or hiring plans at this time. They said additional information would be forthcoming in the near future.

With more than 50 years of experience manufacturing vinyl products, Genova Products was one of the largest and most established companies in the industry. Starting with vinyl plumbing, the company expanded to manufacturing vinyl gutters, fencing, railing and deck flooring.

Genova’s Faribault plant is located at 500 12th St. NW, next to Jennie-O-Turkey Store and across from the Cannon River. It was built in 1973. Genova registered in Minnesota as a foreign company in 1987.

Hard times

Genova halted production in mid-November, citing a raw materials shortage. At the time, the company said that it expected employees would be able to return to work by the first week of December.

Days before employees expected to return to work, the company announced that furloughs would continue “indefinitely,” and a sign was posted outside the company’s Faribault facility stating “Plant is closed until further notice.”

In a press release to Paducah, Kentucky, news outlets, company officials blamed the layoffs on a shortage of raw material that lasted longer than anticipated. Later, they said that Genova’s bank abruptly cut off its financing, leaving it unable to afford the raw materials needed to continue manufacturing.

Under the WARN Act, most businesses employing at least 100 people are required to give at least 60 days notice before announcing mass layoffs or plant closings. Many disgruntled employees believe the company failed to abide by the act and threatened to sue.

However, company officials argued that Genova fell under the “Faltering Company” exception, which states that a company facing an imminent plant closing has the right to withhold notice from employees while it seeks new capital or business to stay afloat, in order to avoid scaring off potential investors.

Reach Reporter Andrew Deziel at 507-333-3129 or follow him on Twitter @FDNandrew. © Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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