Not much remains of the Oxnard plant of Abex Aerospace Division, which was previously announced to close by year-end. But it develops that Abex isn’t leaving Ventura County after all.
The company has leased a large office facility in Camarillo, where it will base sales, marketing and administrative employees to serve aircraft manufacturers and other customers throughout the West.
About 45 Abex employees will be in Camarillo. Still, that’s a far cry from the 1,000 who worked at the plant on 5th Street in Oxnard in the mid-1980s, when Abex was that city’s largest private employer.
Pneumo Abex, parent of the Oxnard unit, is moving into 20,000 square feet formerly occupied by Unisys Corp. on Camino Ruiz facing the Ventura Freeway, reports Randall Holliday, Abex’s counsel and spokesman.
Unisys will remain on the site, but is reducing the space it uses there, Holliday said.
The facility produced hydraulic pumps, valves and other equipment, mainly for the aerospace industry. Pneumo Abex blamed the recession and declining defense work for its decision to move the work to a sister plant in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Holliday said 15 to 20 middle-management employees have been transferred from Oxnard to Michigan. He said he didn’t know how many laid-off workers have found employment, but that a number have been placed.
A small engineering group remains in the Oxnard plant, working on projects related to the new Boeing 777 jetliner, Holliday noted.
But around December, what remains of that work will be transferred to Kalamazoo, and the Oxnard plant will be closed for good.