Elmira/Corning Regional Airport
Bath Philips Lighting Plant Closes
Written By: Tanja Rekhi
BATH (WENY) -- The Philips Lighting plant has been a place for people to work for at least 30 years. Many employees worked there when it was Westinghouse in the 1980's. But Friday afternoon, employees walked out of Philips Lighting for the last time.
The plant announced it's closure in 2012.
"I was shocked because they gave me my payment before my retirement at 58 and I said no, I want to work a little longer," said Lynn Hargraves, 33 year employee. "Then a month later, two weeks later, they said they're closing the doors."
There is no longer a high demand for the type of lighting made in Bath. Workers who qualified, like 32 year employee, Kathy Johnson were given retirement.
Johnson enjoyed her time there. She said, "It gave us a wonderful way of life for our children and I am very grateful, very grateful for my time spent there."
Workforce New York and The Steuben County Industrial Development Agency stepped in-- working with Philips Lighting to train employees for future employment.
"I think I'm going to either look for a part time job or maybe full time. We'll see what happens," said Candy Clark, 32 year employee.
Phillips still owns the property. It isn't good bye for everyone, just yet. Facility Group Specialist and 29 year employee, Dale Jacobs will continue work for six more months decommissioning.
"Which means taking out the lamp making, destroying it, cleaning up whatever hazardous waste we have inside," said Dale Jacobs. "Just making it sale-able."
In 2013, the facility paid $361,192.25 in property taxes. Local leaders are hopeful for the future of the building.
"It's something where if a very large manufacturer wanted to come in to the area it would be ready to be used," explained Steuben County Deputy Manager, Jack Wheeler. "It also is segmented in a way that it could be parceled out to a number of companies."
WENY News reached out to the official Phillips Lighting spokeswoman for more on the future of the plant, but she didn't respond.