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Yorktowne Cabinetry plant to close by August

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The Yorktowne Cabinetry plant in York County will close by August, shuttering an operation that was a past political football for the issues of environmental regulations and state corporate assistance.

Yorktowne's parent, Illinois-based Elkay Manufacturing Co., filed a notice with the state Department of Labor and Industry saying the Red Lion plant will begin cutting its remaining 113 jobs around May 12 and most workers will leave by June 24.

The company spent the last four years trying to make the plant more efficient, but physical aspects of the aging two-story factory at 100 Redco Ave. make that difficult, said Linda Carlisle, an Elkay spokeswoman.

In 2006, state Rep. Stan Saylor — a Republican representing the Red Lion area — warned that the company was having difficulties meeting strict environmental regulations and without some kind of reprieve or assistance the factory could close in coming years. At the time, both Virginia and Pennsylvania governors were wooing Yorktowne to move or stay, respectively.

In 2008, the company filed a closing notice with the state but retracted it, saying the plant would remain open and not layoff its 349 workers.

Since then, the work force has been gradually reduced due to slow business in the new construction markets, Carlisle said.

"Our industry was hard hit by the economy," she said, "and the company's products sell better when the housing market is on an upswing."

Production of Elkay's Yorktowne line of cabinets will be moved to a plant in Danville, Va., she said. Some Red Lion office staff and customer services personnel will remain with the company, she said.

About five people will remain in Red Lion to complete the transition, according to the state notice.

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