GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – The Timken Company announced to its employees Monday that the company will be “gradually winding down operations” by the end of the year.

According to the spokesperson for the Timken Company, the company is closing to streamline operations and restructure the manufacturing footprint to better compete in the global market. The closure will impact 225 employees at the facility.

“It’s just a sad day because they’ve done so much for our community,” said Jim Cook, the executive director for the Cherokee County Economic Development Board.

Cook said Timken was one of the first non-textile industrial employers in the county and had employed people in the area for more than 50 years. But, he said the closure wasn’t a surprise.

“Their numbers had dwindled over the past few years, going from well over 1,000 employees down to about 225,” said Cook.

Don Kier worked at Timken for 40 years and retired in 2016. He said the closure will be a big loss for the area.

“I think it’s really going to be harder for the community because Timken was always very community oriented,” said Kier. “They did an awful lot for this community.”

Kier is hopeful people will be able to find jobs and leaders at the County Development Board said there are resources to help transition workers into other roles in the community.

“There are many opportunities for them here, we’ve been doing quite well in the county for several years now so there are plenty of employment opportunities,” said Cook.

The company said it will support employees who work at the Gaffney facility by offering the opportunity for them to apply at other locations, benefits planning, retention and severance pay.

“We’re committed to providing at least 60 days’ notice prior to an associate’s last day,” Timken said.