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Lights Out At MMNA Plant

Ralph Weisheit

The last 170 Mitsubishi workers at the plant in Normal are now without jobs as the final day for the plant ended in shutdown. Plant head Jerry Berwanger said no workforce was finer.

"I guess I can get a plug in for anybody looking to hire Mitsubishi people. They've all got my endorsement, every single one of em," said Berwanger.

 "I can't say enough about that after that announcement was made on the 27th of July, our attendance remained steady. The quality not only remained steady, it improved until that very last car came off the line," said Berwanger.

Berwanger says he's talked with the few people kept to mothball the plant since the end of production late last year and they are doing ok.

"They have jobs lined up for those that want to move. It seems like they had a little bit more time to prepare. I think they are ready for it to be finalized," said Berwanger.

After ending SUV production late last year, 1,100 people lost their jobs. About 170 people stayed on, getting the facility ready for sale.

Area leaders are still looking for a buyer for the plant. The salvage firm Maynards Industries plants to sell off equipment starting within three months if no buyer materializes.

WGLT News Director Charlie Schlenker grew up in Rock Island and graduated from Augustana College. He has spent more than three decades in radio.