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No buyer for Solar Ovonics, 180 employees laid off | News

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No buyer for Solar Ovonics, 180 employees laid off

GREENVILLE, Mich. (WZZM)-The remaining employees at United Solar Ovonic in Greenville had hoped the company would be sold by Monday, but instead, about 180 people were laid-off.

"It's frustrating to see this happen to so many good people," says Rodney Rockham. He and his son Michael both worked at the plant in Greenville. Rodney was one of the first employees, in 2007. Last year, Michael got a job there too. "I quit my previous job, doing lawn care, to better myself, which I did. Went back to school for it."

On Monday, Rodney and Michael found out, along with the others, that they would lose their jobs. "Oh frustrating, the way things are going 'round here. Not too many jobs around here as it is."

The community of Greenville had high hopes for Uni-Solar. It meant new hope for some of the people, like Rodney, who had been laid-off when Electrolux closed in 2006. "I moved from one job to the next, so at least we were looking for something new, something exciting happening."

In February, Uni-Solar announced it was entering bankruptcy. Employees hoped an attempt to auction the company off to a new owner, would happen. That way, they could keep their jobs. "It's always been the intent to bring the folks back, when we found a buyer," says Plant Manager Tim Kelley. He says they had three or four prospective buyers. "It's been like a roller coaster. We've heard exciting news, prospect for buyers. Then things would die off and it would look bleak." The bankrupt company will now move into the liquidation phase.

For Rodney and Michael, it's time to look for other jobs. They might go back to school and will have to find another way to make ends meet.