The shutdown of a 102-year-old California manufacturing company points to a major flaw in California's industrial development policy:
We don't have one.
The company is Pneumatic Scale Angelus, which turned out top-of-the-line machines for sealing lids on soda and beer cans from a factory in Vernon. That was a niche business but not a small one, since bottling companies the world over were Angelus customers.
As we reported just after Christmas, Angelus employees were told on Nov. 2 that its owner, privately held Barry-Wehmiller Cos., would shut down production at the plant Jan. 1 and move it to a factory in Ohio. That meant lost jobs for 111 members of the United Steelworkers in Vernon.
The company appears to have fulfilled its legal obligation to inform city and state officials of its plans; economic development agencies at all three levels of government got notices pursuant to the state WARN Act, which requires notifications of such layoffs 60 days in advance. Another copy went to the office of County Supervisor Gloria Molina, whose district covers Vernon. Her office didn't get back to me to explain how they responded to it, if at all. Read more at the Los Angeles Times