Newest Company to Leave California: An Environmentally Friendly One

Sometimes a news release so succinctly tells why a company is leaving California that all I need do is to replicate it, which I’m doing, below. But before doing so, I’ll mention that if you follow the subhead “Environmentally Friendly” that comes after the news release, you will see just how valuable the company is that has decided to exit California.

General Magnaplate To Close California Facility After 36 Years

County of VenturaVENTURA, Calif., April 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — General Magnaplate Corp has announced this week that it will be closing its Ventura, CA, facility and will serve West Coast customers directly from its Arlington, TX and Linden, NJ operations. The engineering coatings company has reported two main reasons for the facility closure: difficult business conditions created by the State of California and the settlement of a potential lawsuit against subsidiary General Magnaplate California threatened by the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) of Santa Barbara, CA. The EDC claimed that General Magnaplate Corp. had violated the Clean Water Act, which the Company vigorously denies.

“After 36 successful years in Ventura we have made the extremely difficult decision to close our facility,” reports Candida Aversenti, CEO of General Magnaplate Corporation, a woman owned company. “This is a very sad day for our employees and for my family who have a long history of job creation in this area, but the simple fact is that the State of California does not provide a business friendly environment. Increases in Workers Compensation costs and government regulations, combined with predatory citizens groups and law firms that make their living entirely by preying on small businesses, have left us with no other choice but to shut down our California facility. This is in stark contrast to our New Jersey and Texas facilities which are flourishing in small business-friendly environments created by the respective local governments and environmental agencies.”

Reacting to the allegations by the EDC that the company’s facility was discharging polluted storm water into the Santa Clara River, General Magnaplate’s President and COO, Edmund Aversenti, commented, “General Magnaplate is not in violation of the Clean Water Act and ongoing investigations suggest that the alleged polluted storm water runoff from our facility actually came on to our property from neighboring properties exempt from CWA compliance. We have agreed to settle with the EDC for purely economic reasons. This is particularly upsetting given that we have a strong SWPPP (Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan) in place at the California facility and have contracted consultants to insure that we are in compliance. General Magnaplate takes great pride in being environmentally responsible corporate citizens.”

Candida Aversenti added, “General Magnaplate’s coatings have an inherently positive effect on the environment, something that our founder, Dr. Covino, promoted many years before the current environmental trend.”

“He believed that the advancement of metal coatings would have a positive impact on the use of natural resources. Because our coatings improve the performance of metals, more abundant common metals can be used as substitutes, thereby preserving rare alloy ores. And by using coatings to preserve the life of metal parts, our customers are also able to reduce the amount of raw materials required for manufacturing and decrease the amount of scrap. Furthermore, reducing the need to make new parts also conserves energy used in manufacturing processes. There are many, many positive environmental effects to be had from the use of coatings for metal components.”

Anthony Strauss of the Strauss Law Group, which represented General Magnaplate in its case with the EDC, commented, “It is sad to see yet another employer leave the area. California is earning a reputation as a non-friendly business state and it’s the employees that are paying the ultimate price.”

Environmentally Friendly

So, what kind of company is saying goodbye to California? Well, I found this information in a holiday message to employees:

General Magnaplate would like to share with you some of the ways we contribute to charitable causes, and humanitarian and educational programs in our community and worldwide.

General Magnaplate has continued its membership with the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum’s Anchor Society. The Society supports the Museum’s many education programs, exhibitions and maintenance of their extensive collection of historic artifacts. Since 1982, the mission of the Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark, has been to promote the awareness and understanding of history, science and service to honor our heroes, educate the public and inspire youth.

In 2015 a new program was launched for returning military personnel with traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions and their families. Educational programs were also expanded this past year for adults in transitional housing and children in foster care, reaching over 1100 individuals. Previously, we made a donation to the Intrepid to help rebuild the Space Shuttle Enterprise’s pavilion damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

In past years, we have donated to Puppies Behind Bars, Heifer International, the American Red Cross, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Kaleidoscope of Hope, Special Olympics, and the American Cancer Society.

General Magnaplate set up scholarships with Endicott College and Pepperdine University, to fund programs which enable single parents to have a residential college experience with their child, and for foster children to complete their education.

Here in Linden [New Jersey], we support our local community, contributing to emergency services, arts and education programs, donate to our town’s food bank and hire help from ARC, a county agency which helps those with disabilities find employment.

In our plants, we’ve celebrated Earth Day for many years, cleaning up our work areas and parking lots, planting flowers and trees, and continue to enjoy vegetables from our company garden. We recycle plastic bags, bottles, cans and paper. Our California facility had solar panels installed to reduce their energy consumption, and we continue to look for ways to conserve energy and resources. We greatly appreciate the assistance of all our employees in helping us to help others and the environment all year long.

California Politicians

Will California’s business-bashing politicians like Gov. Jerry Brown or his “jobs czar” Mike Rossi apologize to the General Magnaplate employees for perpetuating an environment that is causing them to lose their jobs?

Will Senators Kevin de Leon or Fran Pavley, who represent parts of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, stop their continual support of the kind of regulatory madness that abuses businesses like General Magnaplate?

Does anyone really think that will happen?

The company’s leaving California news release is here.

General Magnaplate’s holiday message that outlines it’s impressive environmental and community contributions is here.

One focus of this blog has been to address California’s perennially difficult business environment. Joseph Vranich is known as The Business Relocation Coach while the formal name of his business is Spectrum Location Solutions. Joe helps companies find great locations in which to grow.