Parker Hannifin will be laying off 48 Maine employees in the coming months as it begins halting operations at its Kittery plant. The company will be transitioning operations at the facility, which manufactures filters and regulators for industrial and automotive operations, to other North American locations.

“The facility closure … in no way reflects the performance of our dedicated team members at the facility,” company spokesperson Aidan Gormley said in a statement. “This was not an easy decision but is necessary to maintain our competitiveness in a challenging market environment.”

Parker Hannifin started in 1917 in Chicago and opened the Kittery facility in 2000, when it acquired Watts, the company already operating there. The company now is known as just Parker. Its Maine facility has been the production site for the filter regulator lubricator components and valves used in pneumatic systems to compress air and gas for industrial and automotive equipment, among other products. That production will eventually move to Michigan and Ohio facilities, which currently assemble those components.

The company also sells its products at two unaffiliated distribution and retail locations, in South Portland and Lewiston. Gormley said the Kittery closure will have no bearing on the future of the stores because Parker does not own them.

The company will conduct the layoffs in phases, though Gormley declined to talk about the timeline.

“By the time the facility closes (scheduled to be in November 2024) a total of 48 team members will have been laid off,” Gormley said.

The company, which is publicly traded and has sites around the world, will provide affected employees with severance pay, extended benefits, and outplacement support, among other services. The company also is trying to offer employees positions at other locations.

The Maine Department of Labor was made aware of the layoffs on April 22, after Parker submitted a notice to the state’s Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification database. Companies are legally required to provide the state and workers with advanced notice when there is a plant closing or mass layoff. Department of Labor spokesperson Jessica Picard said the state’s Rapid Response team, a program to assist laid-off workers, is meeting with the company and employees in May.

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