Corning closes Charlestown facility, reduces workforce

Area jobs have been lost as a Corning, N.Y.-based company consolidated its operations in Charlestown and Keene.

The move took place Nov. 7, and there was a reduction in Corning Inc.’s workforce, said Joseph M. Dunning, supervisor of media relations for the company.

The company isn’t releasing the number of positions that were cut because of “competitive reasons,” he said.

Corning manufactures specialty glass and ceramics. It also invents and builds components for display and environmental technologies, such as glass parts for LCD flat-screen televisions and computer monitors; telecommunications systems; life sciences products and specialty materials.

The Keene facility, which is on Island Street, specializes in precision optics. The plant underwent a $2 million expansion in 2006.

In 2008, Corning acquired Optimum Manufacturing Corp. in Charlestown, which manufactured housing for optical parts, mirror blanks (which are used in telescopes) and satellite components. This became part of Corning Specialty Materials. Dunning confirmed the Ceda Road plant is now for sale.

Corning announced in May it planned to consolidate its two area branches in Keene by the end of 2012 or early 2013.

According to a real estate listing on Claremont-based Town and Country Realty’s website, the 4.83-acre Charlestown property is being offered for $549,000.

Dunning said the consolidation will “centralize the workforce, rationalize the equipment and eliminate redundant expenses for facility utilities and maintenance.”

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