In a May 7 Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) letter to the Georgia Department of Labor, Deputy Restructuring Officer Jason Shulick said a decline in demand led the plant to close its Cartersville facility. Ninety-one employees were affected.
“... Unfortunately, in the recent past, the demand for ATR product has decreased and sales have declined. For these and other reasons, ATR has decided to permanently close the Plants, in their entirety, effective May 31, 2013. All employees in all positions will be terminated, on a permanent basis, effective May 31, 2013,” the letter reads.
ATR, a supplier of environmentally friendly resins, products and services, operates an 850,000-square-foot facility on South Erwin Street.
During the 2012 Manufacturer of the Year Awards, Gov. Nathan Deal awarded ATR one of the state’s top awards. According to a press release from Chattahoochee Technical College, the organization nominating ATR, since 2008 the manufacturer had tripled its workforce and revenue, and expectations were for an increase of 30 to 50 percent in the workforce and doubling revenue by 2013.
Shulick in the WARN letter said the company is in talks to sell the property to two companies not affiliated with ATR and both sales were expected to coincide with the plant closing and termination on May 31.
“... ATR is actively negotiating both sale transactions and believes they will occur, however there always remains a possibility that one sale or both will fall through,” the letter states. “If the sales occur in the manner currently anticipated, the Plant operations are expected to be continued, by the buyers. The buyers have each expressed to ATR that they intend to hire most ATR employees. ...”
Executive Director of Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development Melinda Lemmon said although the news was disheartening, in time the county may receive positive news from the plant’s closing.
“I’m saddened to learn of the news about ATR because the company has been very important to the Cartersville area in many ways, not just as an employer,” she said. “We hope for long-term relationships with each of our industries, but sometimes things change that are beyond our control. That being said, I’m cautiously optimistic that there’s a silver lining that will reveal itself in time.”
Calls to Shulick were not returned at press time. Likewise, attempts to contact ATR were unsuccessful.