Fort Smith Plant Lays Off 120 Employees, Stops Manufacturing
FORT SMITH (KFSM) – Approximately 120 employees at a Fort Smith plant were laid off on Jan. 21, and manufacturing at the plant has stopped temporarily, according to a news release.
Saint-Gobain NorPro announced on Wednesday that it was laying off more than 100 employees at its ceramic materials plant at 5300 Gerber Road in Fort Smith, the release states.
The plant manufactures proppants, which are ceramic materials used in natural gas and oil extraction, officials say.
“This difficult action has been brought on by a global drop in oil prices and a sudden drop in demand for proppants,” said Jack Larry, general manager of Saint-Gobain’s proppants business.
Larry continued saying, “Fort Smith remains a key part of the future of Saint-Gobain’s proppants business, and we anticipate resuming production as soon market conditions allow. At this point we do not know the length of the layoff and have filed a WARN notice with government officials. We will continue to communicate with the affected employees and appropriate government agencies as the situation evolves.”
Saint-Gobain NorPro is part of Paris-based Saint-Gobain, a producer of construction products worldwide, according to the release. The company has about 500 employees in Arkansas, the release states.