A communications/electronics maker in southeast Iowa is shutting down its plant, eliminating more than 300 jobs. Celestica, which took over the Motorola factory in Mount Pleasant four years ago, says it’ll close the shop within six to nine months. Governor Vilsack, the former Mayor of Mount Pleasant, says it’s a big blow. Vilsack says there’s much concern and worry and “our thoughts and our prayers go out to the families who will be impacted by this decision.” He says the state Workforce Development office will be going into Mount Pleasant to offer some relief. Vilsack says many overtures were made to try and keep Celestica in place.Vilsack says the state, county and city made offers of nearly two-million dollars in various incentives, loans and tax breaks to keep the company to stay. Reports say Canada-based Celestica will move at least some of the Mount Pleasant operation to Mexico. Vilsack says the state will help in trying to “make the best of a very, very bad situation.”The shutdown within six to nine months will cost Mount Pleasant 334 jobs. State Representative Dave Heaton, a republican from Mount Pleasant, says he talked with state Economic Development officials two weeks ago about the situation and was assured, all was being done to keep the company from moving. Heaton says the discussion focused on Celestica’s reductions nationwide and he’d hoped Mount Pleasant would be able to avoid the cuts. Heaton says Governor Vilsack called him yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon with the bad news.Mount Pleasant lost another major employer in 2002 with the closure of the Blue Bird factory, which built school buses. 350 jobs were lost in that move. Another company moved into the building which cuts and packages paper products, employing 165 workers.
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