OOPS! - Another Regional Plant Closing, Globalized

By Bob Weaver

The Cabot Corporation operation in Wood County is closing because of the globalized market.

Forty-eight workers jobs will be gone.

Cabot Corporation has announced plans to shut down its carbon black plant in Waverly in March 2008.

Cabot originally had the world's largest carbon black factory in Calhoun County in the early 1900s.

Carbon black, among other things, is a raw material used to reinforce rubber in the tire making.

The company says the market for the material has gone overseas, prompting the decision to close the facility.

"What was seen over the last 18-months or so is that the tire industry had changed significantly in North America," said company spokesman Paul Frazier.

Tires are not being made in America.

"Our customer base has been moving and continues to move to places like China and Asia-Pacific regions. We're just trying to move capacity to those locations to serve those customers," he said, indicating Cabot's operations will be shifting abroad.

The Waverly plant was built in 1967. Cabot mothballed one of the three production units at the plant in 2003, but is now closing the entire operation.

Workers are being briefed on the company's benefits and severance package.

The closure joins tens of thousands of relatively low-paying jobs that have been moved abroad from the Mountain State.