JLG shutters Ohio plant; jobs due in Pennsylvania

Jim Hook , jhook@publicopinionnews.comPublished 4:44 p.m. ET Feb. 1, 2017 Updated 19 hours ago

HAGERSTOWN, Md. – JLG Industries is closing its factory in Orrville, Ohio, and moving all North American telehandler manufacturing to its plants in Pennsylvania.

The company on Jan. 26 announced the closing along with changes to its European operations. The changes may affect up to 525 employees, 279 of them at Orrville.

“We are trying to determine what the impact will be,” said L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation. “We’re hoping to offer what assistance is needed for recruitment and training, which we think they will need.”

The work coming to Pennsylvania would be spread among JLG plants in McConnellsburg, Shippensburg and Greencastle, Ross said. He is unsure of the impact on the Bedford plant.

JLG will continue to offer the same telehandler products in North America. Telehandlers are designed to lift materials with telescopic booms, pallet forks or buckets.

Engineering services in Orrville will continue normal operations. Manufacturing in Orrville is to end by Sept. 30.

After evaluating its global manufacturing footprint and product offerings, JLG also decided to close its manufacturing and pre-delivery inspection facilities in Maasmechelen, Belgium and its engineering center in Bruntingthorpe, United Kingdom.

“These actions, although difficult, are the right ones for our business,” said Nerenhausen. “Simplifying our product portfolio and operations aligns with our long term vision and strategic direction, positioning JLG to deliver an enhanced customer experience and improved return on investment moving forward. These planned actions allow us to improve performance to maintain our position as an access equipment leader around the globe.”

Ross said, “It gives them an opportunity to reduce costs through operational efficiencies. That has a ripple effect through the supply chain.”

JLG, an Oshkosh company, is one of the area’s largest manufacturers. Smaller shops supply parts to JLG factories.

“This is one of the deals where we have a great empathy for the community of Orrville,” Ross said. “In this case we welcome these decisions and the positive impact it will have here.”

It’s the second time in six months that a major manufacturer of construction equipment announced closings elsewhere and consolidation to Franklin County. Manitowoc Cranes announced in August that it was moving its crawler crane production from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to the local plant at Shady Grove.

“In both cases we’re fortunate to be the beneficiaries of the change,” Ross said.

The JLG plant on Walnut Bottom Road, Shippensburg, employs about 450 workers.

Jim Hook, 717-262-4759