General Electric plant holds open house before closure

MATTOON, Ill. (AP) — A General Electric plant scheduled to close this summer in Illinois has held an open house for about 3,000 past and current employees. Plant Manager Jeff Doyle tells the Journal Gazette and Times-Courier that the event was originally scheduled to happen last year, for the plant’s 70th anniversary. But officials delayed the event after the company announced in October that the plant would close in August. Doyle says the GE Lighting Mattoon Lamp Plant is like a family. Retired employee Terry Jolly says his father, aunt and uncle worked in the plant. Jolly also met his wife there. The plant once employed 1,800 workers. Officials have said the facility is operating 60 percent below capacity because volume has decreased dramatically due to changes in the lighting industry.