Manufacturing plant closing in Roanoke

By Beau Ebenezer

August 24, 2012 Updated Aug 27, 2012 at 10:19 AM CDT

ROANOKE, Ill. -- The Village of Roanoke is in shock after the announcement of the closing of a top local manufacturer of wheel chair lifts and home elevators.

Many residents in Roanoke had the same reaction.

"Shock was my initial reaction. It came out of nowhere. We had no idea," said local cashier, Teri Reither.

"Total shock. It's gonna be really bad for the town. That company has supported a lot of businesses here, said another local resident, Cheryl Wagner."

ThyssenKrupp Access Corporation, a local manufacturer of wheelchair lifts and home elevators, has announced they will be closing down operations in the U.S., leaving 110 employees in Roanoke jobless, some who have been there for decades.

"It's not really me that I'm worried about. It's more along the lines of the guys who have been there for ten, fifteen, or twenty years that made it a career. I mean it was devastating to everybody. I don't see anyone being happy about it, " said current ThyssenKrupp employee, Tyler Cunningham.

The company stated that the closing is a result a sluggish U.S. economy recovery that has affected the company's sales and profits.

Businesses like Casey's General Store might also be affected. They opened a 24-hour service in January to accommodate the late working hours of ThyssenKrupp employees.

Residents and business have many questions as to where this will leave the village.

"What are they going to do; how are they going to support their families? And a lot of my friends are going to be in really bad shape," said local resident, Carol Knoll.

But Mayor Huschen says the community of Roanoke is resilient.

"I'm not really sure of the impact, but I'm sure we'll get hurt a little bit. This town is very resilient. We have a great community here," said Mayor, Robert Huschen.

Companies like Parson's Custom Manufacturing & Gingrich Enterprises are currently hiring, and Mayor Hushen believes they will help offset the loss of ThyssenKrupp.

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