Portland – Portland Willamette, a Northeast Portland company that has made fireplace furnishings for more than seven decades, will close in May and lay off its remaining 62 employees.
World War II veteran William Sherman started Portland Willamette immediately after the war, according to Oregonian archives, and at one time it was among the city’s largest manufacturers. Portland Willamette’s current product lineup includes fireplace doors, screens, artificial logs and other accessories.
Portland Willamette had most recently been owned by Kentucky company called Cardinal Aluminum, which notified Oregon officials in March that the factory near Portland International Airport will close on May 20. Cardinal Aluminum sold the Portland company’s brand and assets to a Montana company called Iron Haus.
Cardinal Aluminum did not immediately respond to a message inquiring about the decision to close.
Oregon’s economy is generally healthy, with the statewide jobless rate at 4 percent. But some industries, including manufacturing, haven’t fully recovered from jobs lost in the Great Recession.