Pratt Industries Converting Division has shut down its local plant.

Dozens of employees were laid off Friday and have been put on the rolls of the unemployed.  Machinery inside is being dismantled and shipped off to other Pratt Converting plants in Vicksburg, Jackson, Atlanta and Birmingham.

Pratt Industries purchased the equipment from Wes-Pak, Inc., out of Little Rock about 18 months ago.  The building, which is still owned by Wal Mart Stores, Inc., is leased and will continue to be used by Pratt Industries for the time being as a storage facility.

Many workers last day was this past Friday.  A HR Representative of Pratt Industries located at the port made the trek to west Shreveport to hand out final checks and severence packages to employees, several with more than a dozen years tenure with the company.

KEEL News has repeatedly tried to get a comment from Pratt Industries, but the only call back we received was a representative who told us that she "isn't allowed to speak of the closure."

You may recall in 2008, KEEL News covered Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover who called a news conference at the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce offices downtown to announce the operations of Wes-Pak, Inc., and the addition of lots of jobs.  About a year later, another news conference was held to announce that the company was moving all of its production to the Shreveport plant.

Its assumed that a downturn in the economy shortly after the rollout of the plant eventually led to its demise. 

We've been unable to confirm whether or not any of the employees of the west Shreveport converting plant have been offered positions at the port.

Its believed that upwards of 50 positions have been eliminated, several of which were temporary employees working through Career Adventures.