Ebonite, the local bowling ball manufacturing plant, closed its doors on Friday. The company was acquired by Brunswick Bowling Products, according to a news release.
The company has operated in Hopkinsville for 52 years. Around 170 employees will lose their jobs.
Christian County Judge Executive Steve Tribble said that around lunch time Friday, he and Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks received notification that Ebonite had been purchased and all production would cease at the end of the day.
The Western Kentucky Workforce Board, part of the Pennryile Area Development District, confirmed the reports around 4 p.m., Friday.
“Regretfully, the Workforce Board is aware of the Ebonite closure that occurred today. Ebonite has had a long-standing presence and attributed to its employees and the community,” the workforce board said on its Facebook page. “Response plans are in the works at this time. Expect more detailed information to be released Monday regarding assistance for employees.”
Brunswick announced that it will continue to market its products under the Ebonite brands and honor all warranties. However, production will be moving away from Hopkinsville.
“The Southwest Kentucky Economic Development Council is saddened to learn about the closing of Ebonite International,” said Southwest Kentucky Economic Development Executive Director Mark Lindsey in a statement. “The EDC along with other supporting agencies stand ready to assist the employees of Ebonite find new career opportunities.
“For decades, these hard working employees have demonstrated a world class skill set and work ethic. We will market their world-class skillset to the companies in our region as well as the new industry prospects that we meet with.”
Tribble said that all employees would receive their salary and benefits until Jan. 13.
Both Lindsey and Tribble said that Christian County has jobs available in local manufacturing plants. PADD has programs to help retrain or find workers jobs in their area of expertise.
“All we can do is go through the processes that are in place and get people back to working,” Tribble said.
Reach Jon Russelburg at 270-887-3241 or firstname.lastname@example.org