Economic development agencies prepare for Carmeuse layoffs


Layoffs are coming to the Carmeuse lime and stone facility in Strasburg, Va., a site which has been in the community for decades.

“Before it was Carmeuse, it was a company called Chemstone,” said Jenna French, the Director of Tourism and Economic Development for Shenandoah County. “A lot of the locals who are native to the area still call it Chemstone. But yeah, it’s been a great fixture here.”

The Pittsburgh-based company told WDVM 25 that of the Oranda Road site’s 75 employees, fewer than 30 will be let go. This is due, in part, to an increased reliance on natural gas and pressure upon the coal industry, which is traditionally a major customer of Carmeuse. 

In a statement, the company wrote,

“Carmeuse will be idling the Strasburg kiln in the near future, due to economic and market factors beyond its control. The aggregates plant and hydrator at Strasburg will continue to operate. […] Carmeuse regrets the need to take this action. We continue to evaluate the extent of the layoffs as well as potential openings at other facilities. Carmeuse has advised its employees of the situation. Carmeuse will continue to communicate with its employees as plans solidify.” 

Currently, the state and county economic development agencies are working to help those employees land on their feet.

“The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, they have an arm of their organization that is the rapid response team. So often times if we hear of a closing or layoffs anywhere within the state, they can swoop in help them with either new job placement or resources that are available to any employees that may be displaced by the layoff,” French said. “We do actually have some simultaneous business expansions that are happening at the moment. So we’re working with Carmeuse to find out what the skills are that may be displaced to see if we can find them new jobs in other expanding companies right now that are looking for employees.”

Carmeuses’ Clear Brook, Va. location is not expected to be impacted by the layoffs.

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