Honeywell facility to close

Rumors that had spread in and around Franklin “for years” this week became reality — the Honeywell facility will be closing, affecting more than 100 employees.

On Wednesday, word of the closure — expected to take place by the end of the year — circulated throughout the community, including to the newspaper.

It wasn’t until Thursday, when both Franklin City Manager Tracy Jamieson and Franklin Mayor Doug Baker confirmed to the newspaper that the city received word from Honeywell that the local plant, which specializes in the manufacturing of safety equipment, will shut its doors.

“It was not a complete surprise, rumors have circulated for years” said Baker, who received the news via telephone from a plant representative. “It is not good news, and the city has been down this road before (with Joy Global).”

Jodi Lewis, director of the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce, said “It is a loss to our community, the region and, of course, the displaced workers.”

In an email to the newspaper, Caroline Morelock, a senior external communications specialist with Honeywell’s corporate headquarters, said “Honeywell is planning to close the Franklin, Pennsylvania site and move work to existing Honeywell facilities by (the fourth quarter of 2022) to streamline operations and better serve our customers.

“We realize this would, unfortunately, affect valued employees and we’re committed to open communication through this period. Eligible employees, who work through their exit date and continue to meet performance and behavior standards, will be offered severance and outplacement assistance in accordance with our policies and procedures.”

According to Baker, the decision to close the local plant affects 110 employees, and he did not have a “dollar figure at this time” as to the economic impact to the city.

Baker said he was informed the facility is expected to go on the market early next year, and that the Franklin Industrial & Commercial Development Authority (FICDA) “is reaching out to their contacts.”