Both the Petoskey and Michigan economies suffered yet another kick to the stomach when Continental Structural Plastics recently announced that it would be closing its Petoskey factory, which currently employs approximately 100 workers. According to company vice president Tom Hillborn, "It's unfortunate but the auto industry in Michigan is moving south and our government in Lansing hasn't ben able to stop this trend."
State Senator Jason Allen, commenting on the plant closure, stated that the continuing loss of Michigan manufacturing jobs is very sad. "In 2000, one third of the cars assembled in the U.S. were assembled in Michigan. This year, it's estimated that only 23 to 25 percent will be assembled in Michigan," said Allen. Allen also stated that in 2006, Japan exported 650,000 more cars to the U.S. than in 2004, which is the equivalent of four assembly plants and 80,000 to 100,000 jobs.