March 25, 2009 IMLAY CITY — The Mantex Corporation, a manufacturer of composite armor systems and automotive sunshades, is closing its doors.
The closing was effective yesterday (Tues., March 24), leaving about 60 employees without jobs.
The manufacturer had operated at 611 Industrial Parkway in Imlay City since 1999, and as recently as nine months ago was reportedly doing well.
"We didn't anticipate that the downturn in the auto industry would be so severe," said Mantex spokesman Charlie Arnt. "What we do is about 90 percent auto-related. We just couldn't weather the storm. We're shutting down."
In July 2008, the industry sought and received an eight-year abatement from the city on the purchase of $1.37 million in new equipment.
At the time, Mantex CEO Gary Yeoman informed city commissioners that the business was doing well, having begun to diversify away from the auto industry and into products for the defense industry.
Among the products manufactured by Mantex was bullet-proof glass used in vehicles for the national defense.
Jerome Lewis, Deputy Director at Michigan Thumb Works, said his agency received word of Mantex' permanent closing on March 5. He said Michigan Works is available to assist workers interested in finding new employment.
Lewis noted that despite the state's bleak job market, there are still jobs available for individuals willing to retrain themselves.
"People may need to hone their skills for the types of jobs that are needed now," said Lewis. "Some of those jobs are either more or highly technical. But for people willing to accept new training, there are jobs out there."
In recent weeks, the economic downturn has been blamed for the closing of Wellington Almont, formerly Ligon Bros. Manufacturing, and Crazy Mountain Imports in Attica Twp.