OLEAN, N.Y. -- Dal-Tile, the largest manufacturer of ceramic tile in North America, is closing its facility in Olean, which produces unglazed mosaic tile.
Dal-Tile's operations in Olean are tentatively scheduled to shut down by the end of January 2013 and approximately 174 employees will be affected by the closure.
The company says it's consolidating and expanding its mosaic tile operations into its facility in Gettysburg, Pennsylavania. This decision brings production capabilities in line with the decline in the unglazed mosaic segment.
Dal-Tile says its decision followed an extensive business study that also included the thorough review of an incentive proposal provided by Empire State Development (ESD), the state of New York's chief economic development agency. ESD's proposal to enhance investment in and growth at the Olean facility included grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance from NYSEG, NYSERDA, NYPA and Cattaraugus County (in the form of energy efficiency incentives, utility incentives and loans).
"The ESD, United States Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, state Senator Young, and agencies across the State of New York were very aggressive in their efforts to get as many sources and incentives as possible; we believe that they did all that they could," said John Turner, Jr., president of Dal-Tile.
Turner added, "Their dedication to providing Dal-Tile with an extremely comprehensive proposal in an very timely manner was very much appreciated, so that we could have the information needed to finalize the assessment and make a decision."
State Senator Cathy Young (R-Olean) reacted to Dal-Tile's decision, by sending this statement to 2 On Your Side.
"This outcome is very disappointing and heartbreaking. All levels of government worked together to put forward an aggressive, lucrative package to keep Dal-Tile here, going above and beyond the state's usual economic development incentives.
In the end, the severe downturn in the national economy was too much to overcome. Product sales are way down and the facility had been running at 40 to 50% capacity.
Unfortunately, despite the assistance offered, it would have cost the company $10 million more in capital and operations to stay in Olean than to stay in Gettysburg.
I have already been in contact with the Department of Labor and they have readied their Rapid Response Services team to come to Olean and help the workers with new job placements, unemployment insurance and additional job training. Also, I will continue to work with Empire State Development, the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency and local officials to find a new business to take over the DalTile facility and bring good jobs back to Olean."
State Assemblyman Joe Giglio (R-Gowanda) also sent a statement to 2 On Your Side.
"I'm very disappointed that the Dal-Tile facility in Olean will be closed. The downturn in the economy forced the company to make a very difficult decision. I believe that Senator Young and I, Empire State Development, the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency, Cattaraugus County Economic Development, the City of Olean and many others worked diligently with Dal-Tile officials in packaging various State and local incentives to encourage the company to reconsider its decision.
Unfortunately, the company felt that it was unable to make the necessary investments in the Olean facility to keep it operational.
I pledge my assistance to the affected employees with unemployment, training, continuing education and job placements. I'm hopeful that the parties are able to work together in recruiting a new business to the facility and the community."