Medina Plant Closing, 174 Out of a Job

June 21, 2013 Updated Jun 23, 2013 at 4:21 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

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June 21, 2013 Updated Jun 23, 2013 at 4:21 PM EDT

Medina, NY
(WKBW)

Friday was an emotional day for Kristin Vogt. She's worked at Worthington Industries in Medina for the past 11 years.

Vogt along with 173 other employees were blind sighted by the news that the hand-torch manufacturing company is moving to Wisconsin.

"We weren't really told we were having a meeting, it was just word of mouth and even my supervisor, my group leader didn't know for sure that it was going to take place. Chairs were set. In the cafeteria, tables were removed so we knew something big was going on," said Vogt.

Worthington Industries has an existing facility in Chilton, Wisconsin and earned $2.5 billion in sales in 2012.

But according to a news release from Worthington Executives the consolidation is to save money on internal freight expenses.

"They said that it was a shipping issue. That they were spending too much money shipping the cylinders from Wisconsin to New York to then in fact be packaged at our plant with the torches and then shipped out again to Home Depot, to Lowe's you know all your stores," explained Vogt.

The company has 83 facilities in 11 countries and employs 10,000 workers.

Medina employees have the option to transfer to Wisconsin but it's unclear if anyone will leave their home town.

"My parents work there. My dad's been there for about 20 years and my mom's been there for about 18 years," said Adam Owen.

The plant is expected to completely shutdown in the next six to 12 months.

Meanwhile, employees will be provided with severance pay and job placement assistance.