Dozens of people gathered Wednesday in a rally to save jobs after the New Era Cap Company announced plans to shut down its plant in Derby this March.

Nearly 200 jobs will be lost when the plant shuts its doors.

Elected officials joined the WNY Area Labor Federation as they protested outside of the plant.

In November, New Era announced it was trying to align its business model with global competitors by moving away from owning and operating manufacturing plants.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says New Era got a tax break to come to Derby and their decision to eliminate jobs will not only hurt families, but the manufacturing industry.

“We want to keep this plant long enough to ensure that the industry of the garment and textile manufacturers are still here. Manufacturing, you can’t do better than in the United States. The workforce is exemplary, it’s efficient, they do a great job, and if New Era gives us an opportunity, they will realize that getting rid of this plant is the worst decision they can make,” he said.

New Era says despite the rally cries, they are moving forward with the closure of the plant.

The company says it has recently met with union officials to talk about severance and other ways to assist employees. 

New Era has also been working with the State Department of Labor on a series of job-finding skills workshops.

They will host a job fair at the plant next month for employees featuring at least 20 companies.