The plant, formerly Sprague Electric, was built in 1953 and has been in operation by United Chemi-Con since 1992. This year UCC celebrated its 20th Anniversary under the ownership of Nippon Chemi-Con Corporation.
The plant is celebrating 50 years as a Charter Member of the Employee’s Credit Union and 10 years Foreign Trade Zone Certified.
With great sadness on Oct. 18, 2012 everyone was told about the worldwide structural reform that the entire company is going through as a result of the continued market downturn for electronic components.
UCC will retain 115 employees and 142 employees will be permanently laid off.
The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program was approved Nov. 28, for the dislocated workers. There have been on-site meetings with the local Rapid Response staff making employees aware of the different services available to workers after a layoff is announced; this will continue with one-on-one sessions in January 2013.
Despite the problems, 2012 has been a busy year for United Chemi-Con employees who have participated in a variety of volunteer activities.
The volunteer efforts included: Two blood drives collected 53 pints for the American Red Cross. A winter coat and shoe drive resulted in a donation of 20 items for BROC. Several canned food drives collected almost 400 items to be dispersed through Ashe County’s volunteer food distribution programs. A special food drive for Camp New Hope netted 144 items. $1,519 was raised by the Chemi-Con Tickers for the American Heart Association. The Chemi-Con Chargers Relay for Life team raised $5,154 for the American Cancer Society. Employees helped each other by sponsoring large spring and fall yard sales in the company parking lot. Employee veterans were honored with free meal days on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. A total of $9,662.45 was raised through six bake sales conducted during the year to help employees with unexpected financial hardships. The annual school supply drive collected 189 items for students in Ashe County Schools.
Even though United Chemi-Con is set to lose nearly 60 percent of its workforce, its employees remain rooted to their community through their continuing volunteer efforts.