Jain Irrigation offering relocation, remote work to employees

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 3:49 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Jain Irrigation, which plans to close its Watertown plant, is offering to relocate employees to other facilities or allow some to work remotely.

Cheryl Mayforth, executive director of The WorkPlace, says she met with corporate officials on Tuesday.

“Jain is looking out for the folks and (is) very cooperative,” Mayforth said in an email.

She said the company told her the layoffs likely won’t happen until September or October.

As part of legally required advanced notice, the company said in a May 13 letter that the plant will close by the end of July and 47 positions will be lost due to a drop in business and corporate-wide reorganization.

The positions include shift supervisors, machine maintenance workers, a plant manager and sales staff.

Mayforth said some employees will be offered jobs at other plants and others, mainly office workers, will have the opportunity to work remotely.

If current Jain workers don’t want to leave the area, other local manufacturers have job openings to offer.

MetalCraft Marine makes aluminum boats that are used for firefighting, capturing drug suspects and responding to oil spills.

“Every day we’re building something that people’s lives depend on. You can build a boat, go out and ride on it, and you know it’s going to a first responder somewhere around the world. That’s quite exciting,” said General Manager Michael Allen.

MetalCraft is looking to hire six to eight people in the next five months and expects continued growth. It hopes to have Jain Irrigation workers join its team.

Meanwhile, Knowlton Technologies in Watertown has ten to 12 production jobs available along with a handful of administrative positions.

The longstanding business is sending out flyers Tuesday to the nearly 50 Jain employees, letting them know about Knowlton and its opportunities.

“We’re looking at a couple new customers that we’re working with, and some new products we hope to bring to the market. So if we’re awarded some of those businesses or can bring our products to the market and it gains traction, we feel strongly our production needs will grow, and we’ll have to look at investment potentially in more equipment for the site,” said William Hardin, business manager and site lead.

Other local manufacturers who are hiring for a few manufacturing positions include Car-Freshner, EZ STACK, and Roth Industries.

Mayforth said The WorkPlace will do a job fair for the workers.

7 News first reported the closure on May 11, the day after Jain said it informed employees.

Jain Irrigation bought the Watertown plant in 2006 from Chapin Watermatics, a company that had been in business since 1960.

A Singapore-based company, Rivulis, announced last month that it had completed the acquisition of Jain’s international irrigation business.