Nearly 500 jobs to be cut at Massena Alcoa

Smelting operations at the Alcoa West smelter in Massena, N.Y., seen here in an aerial photo, will be shut down by March 2016 putting nearly 500 employees on the unemployment line. (Photo/Alcoa.com)

MASSENA, N.Y. – Struggling aluminum manufacturer, Alcoa, will shut down its smelting operation, putting nearly 500 people out of work.

A majority of the Alcoa West plant will be shut down in addition to the fact the company won’t be modernizing its already-closed Alcoa East plant.

Two smelters are also being shut down in Washington State.

It’s part of the company’s long term plan to reduce smelting by 503,000 metric tons of aluminum and 1.2 million metric tons of alumina.

The potlines at Massena East have been closed in March 2014.

There are roughly 725 employees at the operation right now.

The cuts are expected to take effect before the end of the year and will be complete by the end of March 2016.

There will still be work at the Massena West plant where “value-add shaped products” will continue to be manufactured, according to a company release. The forgings and extrusion facility in Massena is unaffected by the cutbacks.

Alcoa has been in Massena since 1902.

The downsizing will more than likely be felt across the North Country. According to the company’s website, the Massena smelter had an economic spinoff of $132 million in salaries, pensions, health care payments, and state and local taxes.

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