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ANDERSON — Mill Steel is closing its distribution center at 444 W. 29th St., citing a decline in the market for its flat-rolled carbon steel products and displacing up to 50 workers.

The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based manufacturing company also has plants in Jeffersonville, Indiana; Birmingham, Alabama; Detroit and Houston.

The closure of the Anderson location, which could happen within two weeks, is not entirely unexpected, officials with the city of Anderson said.

“The economy is fluid,” said Greg Winkler, executive director for the Anderson Economic Development Department. “Things change, and obviously Anderson is no stranger to plants closing. We haven’t had that happen in a long time.”

Winkler said he visited the facility Monday and spoke with several employees, offering to connect them with opportunities at other companies in the city. He said that, while losing manufacturing jobs is a blow to the community, there is considerable optimism that those workers won’t remain unemployed for very long.

“We’ve got enough available jobs and enough opportunity in the marketplace that I would hope we’d be able to get them back to work in a very short period of time,” he said.

Messages left with Mill Steel’s corporate office in Grand Rapids seeking comment went unreturned.

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