AA&M to close Malvern Colfor plant

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CCM Staff Report

Jason Lowe, Malvern plant manager for American Axle and Manufacturing’s (AA&M) Malvern Plant (Colfor), announced plans to close the facility  in a letter sent to local media last week.

The letter expressed thanks to residents of Malvern and the surrounding communities for their support since a devastating fire that occurred at the facility Sept. 22.

 Since the fire, crews from a variety of industries have been working around the clock at the site cleaning up and assessing damage.

“It has now been just over a month since the fire in Malvern. In those days following this devastating event, we were hopeful that the damage at the facility could be repaired. But, the fire was too severe, and the building has significant structural damage that cannot be repaired. Unfortunately, we’ve had to make the decision to close the Malvern Manufacturing Facility. This is a very difficult decision and one that we did not take lightly, but one that is necessary,” he wrote in the letter.

Lowe said he is aware of the many people who will be affected by the closure.

“We know that this decision affects many in the community and at AAM. We will continue to work with affected associates to identify employment opportunities within the AAM organization where available,” he stated.

Lowe expressed gratitude to the many people who provided support.

“In the hours and days after this unprecedented event, it was clear that multiple communities came together to help the AAM family.

“First and foremost, more than 25 fire departments and first response agencies from surrounding communities responded to the fire that morning. These fire fighters, including several volunteers, worked for much of the day to try and contain the fire. In the days following, many came back multiple times to offer their assistance.

“We also know that many in the community came together to help our teams. Restaurants donated food to first responders; grocery stores stepped in to help; healthcare facilities sponsored food and clothing drives; neighbors reached out to check in on AAM associates and many, many other acts of kindness. We are humbled by this response and would like to extend our sincere thanks to all during this time of need,” he stated in the letter.

The letter contained words of appreciation to the Team AAM at Malvern.

“This event was an unexpected shock to all of us. But those AAM Associates working onsite at the time of the fire kept calm, helped fellow associates and quickly evacuated the building with an eye towards safety. We don’t like to think of what could have happened that day, but we know that their dedication to safety helped each associate evacuate safely without any injuries. Fortunately, the entire Malvern team made it home to their families that evening and for that we are most grateful.”

Carroll County Economic Development Director Chris Modranski said he has been working with AA&M officials and was saddened to hear of the planned closing.

“We are not giving up on them,” Modranski said. “We will continue to work with them to make sure employees find suitable employment.”

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