An automotive supplier is leaving Simpson County and eliminating more than 100 jobs. Harman is closing its manufacturing plant that produces amplifiers, speakers and radios for vehicles.
"HARMAN is encountering intense competition and is adapting to the changing dynamics in the automotive industry," the company said in a statement. "While extremely difficult, these actions are necessary and an essential step to ensure the long-term competitiveness of our business."
The Franklin factory, which opened in 2000, is Harman’s last manufacturing facility in the U.S., according to Dennis Griffin, executive director of the Franklin-Simpson Industrial Authority. The company has moved several operations to Mexico.
About 165 employees will be let go in phased layoffs starting in June. The plant will close in September.
One bright spot in the announcement is that employees will likely have opportunities to find jobs nearby. Simpson County has 200-300 vacant manufacturing positions. The Franklin-Simpson County Industrial Authority says it will be offering job assistance to Harman employees.