By Diana Bowley, Of the NEWS Staff - DEXTER - Owners of Fayscott LLC confirmed Wednesday what local officials had suspected all along, that the local machine parts factory is closing. About 20 people work at the facility.Town Manager Robert Simpson told the Town Council last Thursday that state labor officials had advised him that the factory was closing and that company officials had requested re-training assistance for the shop's employees.
The next day, Wayne Clukey of Dexter, who owns the building in which Fayscott operates, also announced to the Dexter Sunrise Kiwanis Club that the company was closing its Dexter operation.
Contacted after the council meeting, Patrick West, chief executive officer of Fayscott and its parent company, Industrial Actuation Group LLC of Limerick, acted surprised at the announcement and said no formal decision had been made, although he admitted the company had lost a major customer.
This week, West confirmed that manufacturing at the facility - which produces grinders and gear-making machines used in industry, and gearboxes used in gas and oil pipelines, power generation and oil exploration - would cease as of April 30.
He said there would be a transition period of several weeks in order to consolidate existing subcontract work and the Fayscott machine tool product lines in an orderly way to the manufacturing facility in Limerick.
The Dexter facility has been operated as a machine tool factory for more than 100 years.
"Based on the continuing economic slump and challenges facing our industry as a whole, it is not viable for us to keep both companies open at this time," West said.
"The facility in Dexter has great capabilities and a strong manufacturing tradition. We are disappointed that we have to close, but given the current climate, the only prudent option is to focus the work at a single factory," he said.
West wanted to assure its subcontract customers that the company is working to transfer their work to Limerick, and will continue to sell, service and manufacture the Fayscott product lines, particularly the Reid surface grinder and Lees Bradner gear hobber.
Fayscott employees will be considered for appropriate open positions at Limerick, West said. Additionally, the company will be working with the state Department of Labor and local Career Center to assist displaced employees in a number of ways.
"We appreciate the effort that our Dexter employees and IAM Local 1696 have made to date in working with us to try to save the business, as well as the support that we have received from state and local agencies, specifically, Eastern Maine Development Corp. and the Dexter Town Office," West said.
He also expressed his appreciation for the assistance the company has received from its bank and other lenders to make the consolidation to Limerick possible.
"Working together we will make it through this period and emerge as a job creator in the state," he said.
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