New Era Cap Company's plant in Derby is slated to close in March 2019, according to a source who said union members were notified Tuesday morning. Production is scheduled to halt in February.
A total of 219 workers are affected, according to a statement from the Erie County Executive.
According to the source, the move is not financially motivated, with the source saying New Era wants to get out of the manufacturing business.
The company statement goes on to say that other competitors in the sports apparel field don't run their own manufacturing plants. Production would be picked up by other suppliers, except for on-field-worn Major League Baseball caps, which would be made in Florida.
Town of Evans Supervisor Mary Hosler said the news disappointed her, not only because of the loss of jobs, but because of the town’s financial commitment in New Era.
She says New Era has had a PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes, agreement with the town and the Erie County Industrial Development Agency from 1993 to 2016 to assist the company’s expansion of the facility.
“We made a financial commitment, through the ECIDA, through the expansion, the low-interest loans and we did the incentive program so it abated their taxes for a long-term gain, which we hoped that they would stay established in the Town of Evans for a long period of time,” Hosler said.
Hosler says no one from New Era has reached out to her to talk about next steps for the company.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says his office hasn't been contacted as well, and neither has ECIDA.
The company was founded in 1920 and is headquartered is in downtown Buffalo, where the company stated normal operations would continue. New Era Cap currently makes hats for the NBA, NFL and MLB.