EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with comments from Pace Industries.
MUSKEGON — Die casting manufacturer Pace Industries LLC plans to lay off 244 workers as it closes two Muskegon plants next month.
In a recent Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act filing with the state, company officials cited “financial trouble” as the reason for the layoffs and closure of its facility at 2121 Latimer Drive in Muskegon. A company spokesperson said in a statement that Pace Industries will close two of its four Muskegon facilities.
Layoffs will start on Dec. 20 and conclude by Dec. 31, according to the company’s notice. The layoffs include 213 non-union employees and 31 salaried employees.
“Pace Industries has been on a journey to evolve ways of working to drive operational effectiveness and continuous improvement. This has included evaluating opportunities to further sharpen the Company’s focus, including efficient management of capital investment and deployment of resources,” the spokesperson said in an email. “This decision does not reflect any lack of dedication from the talented Muskegon team. However, it is a necessary measure considering current market dynamics.”
Pace Industries lists four manufacturing facilities in Muskegon and a corporate headquarters in Novi, where it relocated from Arkansas in 2021. The Michigan Strategic Fund supported the relocation with a $250,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. State officials said in June 2021 that Pace Industries had 360 employees in Michigan at the time.
The company is “proactively working to support impacted Associates as much as possible and is otherwise operating as usual. Pace Industries remains committed to delivering best-in-class customer experiences and to being the premier die casting manufacturing and engineering solutions supplier,” the spokesperson said.
A manufacturer of aluminum die castings, zinc die castings, mechanical assemblies and injected molded plastics for the automotive industry, Pace Industries acquired the former Port City Group operations in Muskegon in 2015.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, Pace Industries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy following two years of financial difficulties and supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic that resulted in plants closing and worker layoffs. According to a state filing at the time, the company furloughed a total of 456 employees in Muskegon.
In a previous bankruptcy filing, the company disclosed $560 million in revenue in 2019.
Pace Industries’ website shows additional manufacturing locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Mexico.