A Bay Shore automotive-parts manufacturing business that former President George W. Bush once visited, and that an Indiana company recently acquired, is closing in November and laying off all of its 271 workers, a state regulatory notice posted Wednesday shows.
USA Industries was renamed Remy USA Industries LLC after it was acquired by Remy International Inc. in January. The state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act filing lists the reason as "economic."
Herb Blank, Remy's manager of human resources, said in a telephone interview Wednesday that the closing "was just primarily a business and logistics decision."
The workers will not be able to transfer to other Remy jobs, he said. It isn't clear where jobs will go. Remy has worldwide operations in countries that include Mexico, Brazil, China and Tunisia.
The Long Island business remanufactures for the aftermarket such automotive parts as axles and starter motors. It has four locations in Bay Shore.
The former owner and founder who sold to Remy said he isn't happy about the closing. Vincent Trapani, said Wednesday that he expected Remy would keep the Bay Shore operation open because the Indiana company signed a five-year lease that expires in 2018.
"They are backing out of everything," he said. He mentioned Remy's Mexico operations and said of the Bay Shore business, "We were more productive and more effective."
Blank declined to respond to Trapani's remarks.
Trapani started the company in 1985 with three employees. It later grew enough to have warehouses in Texas and California.
In 2004, when the White House was looking for a healthy and racially diverse small manufacturing company for President Bush to highlight in this area during his re-election campaign, USA Industries was chosen from about a dozen candidates.
The loss of the jobs will be a blow to the local manufacturing sector, one of the Island's highest paying. Though the number of manufacturing jobs has been inching up in recent months, the sector, with 74,600 jobs in June, is about half its 1990 size, state Labor Department data show.
Bill Wahlig, executive director of the Long Island Forum for Technology, a Bethpage-based business group for local manufacturers, said a closing like this "is a great loss to a region that is dependent on skilled manufacturing workers and the businesses that employ them."
Under the state WARN Act, employers with at least 50 full-time employees must file a 90-day notice before a mass layoff or closing.