By Diana Bowley, Of the News Staff - DEXTER - Fayscott LLC, the town's sole manufacturer, has become a center of controversy over its status this week after the company laid off five of its employees.
Town Manager Robert Simpson reported to the Town Council Thursday that the machine shop was closing. He said Paul Luce of the State Department of Labor had advised him of the closing and that Fayscott LLC officials had asked for government help to retrain its Dexter employees. And on Friday, Wayne Clukey of Dexter, who owns the building in which Fayscott LLC operates, announced to the Dexter Sunrise Kiwanis Club that the company was closing its Dexter operation.
But Patrick West, one of the owners of the Dexter business reached by telephone Friday, was surprised when asked about the closing. "We have made no formal decision to close," he said.
Fayscott LLC lost a large customer which caused the reduction in force, West reported. There are still 20 employees on the payroll and they would be the first to know when the company made any announcement of closing, he said. But he did acknowledge that company officials were assessing the overall situation of the business on a day to day basis.
West, his brother, Tom West, and other investors also own Industrial Actuation Group, a modern, high-speed manufacturing machine shop in Limerick. Both plants make grinders and gear-making machines used in the automotive industry, as well as other manufacturing industries, and gearboxes used in gas and oil pipelines, power generation and oil exploration. What company officials had asked of the state, West said, was to have its Dexter and Limerick employees included in Gov. John Baldacci's training initiatives to improve the workforce. Messages have apparently gotten crossed, he said.
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