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Cheese manufacturing plant in Chautauqua County shuts its doors, impacting roughly 50 workers

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Posted at 4:02 AM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 04:17:46-05

ASHVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — Chautauqua County officials tell 7 Eyewitness News that a cheese manufacturing plant in the Hamlet of Ashville officially shut its doors on Friday.

The Ashville branch of the Castelli America, LLC cheese plant, which took over the Empire Specialty Cheese manufacturing plant in 2016, produced and distributed a variety of cheeses for the Italian-based Nuovo Castelli Group.

Officials say the plant received over $8 million in grants to upgrade and improve its facility.

Back in 2018, the Town of Harmony and Castelli America, LLC received two federal grants to expand its workplace, and provide job opportunities.

“Despite the County, County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA), State and Federal assistance in the form of low-interest loans, grants, and technical assistance, we were informed that Castelli America, LLC has been experiencing challenges related to production and sales,” said Mark Geise, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development and CEO of the CCIDA.

“We don’t know what the sale of Castelli America to Lactalis will mean yet for the Ashville facility,” said Stephen Abdella, Acting Chautauqua County Executive.

Abdella went on to say Chautauqua County officials will work with displaced employees to provide additional job training programs.