Energizer plant closing in St. Albans; Bennington plant not affected

ST. ALBANS— Company officials at the Energizer plant in St. Albans, say the battery and flashlight plant is closing by next September, but the Bennington plant will not be affected.
The closing would leave about 165 people jobless.
In a press release, Energizer announced the closure of the St. Albans plant on Thursday along with plants in Missouri and Malaysia and streamlining at plants in North Carolina and, internationally, in Canada and China.
No changes were announced to the manufacturing facility in Bennington.
Lawrence Miller, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, said on Friday morning that when state officials talked to Energizer representatives about the closure of the St. Albans plant, he was concerned about what it would mean to the plant in Bennington.
However, Miller said he was told the changes to Energizer’s operations are expected to have no effect on the plant in Bennington, which makes batteries for hearing aids.
Company spokesman Ken Fields says people these days need fewer of the lithium batteries that St. Albans has making since 1989.
He says more people are using smartphones with rechargeable batteries. And they’re not using multiple devices like a pager and a camera.
The Burlington Free Press reports the company said the flashlight production will be moved to other Energizer plants or sourced from its global supplier network.
The St. Louis-based company announced Thursday it plans to cut roughly 10 percent of its workforce as part of a cost-cutting overhaul that would eliminate about 1,500 jobs.

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