EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with comments from Pace Industries.
MUSKEGON — Die Casting Manufacturer Pace Industries LLC plans to lay off 244 workers when two Muskegon factories close next month.
In a recent Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) state filing, company officials cited “financial problems” as the reason for the layoffs and closure of its facility at 2121 Latimer Drive. in Muskegon. A company spokesperson said in a statement that Pace Industries would close two of its four Muskegon facilities.
The layoffs will begin Dec. 20 and end Dec. 31, according to the company’s notice. The layoffs include 213 non-unionized employees and 31 salaried employees.
“Pace Industries is committed to a process aimed at changing working methods to promote operational efficiency and continuous improvement. This included evaluating opportunities to further refine the direction of the company, including the effective management of capital investments and deployment of resources,” the spokesperson said in an email. “This decision reflects no lack of dedication from the talented team at Muskegon. However, it is a necessary measure given the current market dynamics.
Pace Industries lists four manufacturing plants in Muskegon and a headquarters in Novi, where it relocated from Arkansas in 2021. The Michigan Strategic Fund supported the relocation with a $250,000 performance-based grant from Michigan Business Development Schedule. State officials said in June 2021 that Pace Industries had 360 employees in Michigan at the time.
The company “is working proactively to support affected associates as much as possible and is otherwise operating as usual. Pace Industries remains committed to providing the best-in-class customer experience and being the premier supplier of manufacturing solutions and die-casting engineering,” the spokesperson said.
A manufacturer of aluminum die castings, zinc die castings, mechanical assemblies and injection molded plastics for the automotive industry, Pace Industries acquired the former Port City Group operations in Muskegon in 2015.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, Pace Industries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after two years of financial difficulties and supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic that led to the closure of factories and the dismissal of workers. According to a state filing at the time, the company laid off a total of 456 employees in Muskegon.
In a previous bankruptcy filing, the company disclosed revenue of $560 million in 2019.
The Pace Industries website lists additional manufacturing locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Mexico.