Superior Industries Closes in Pittsburg, 600 Jobs Lost

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) _ The largest privately owned employer in Pittsburg closes its doors today, leaving 600 employees looking for work a week before Christmas.

Superior Industries announced in August that it was closing the wheel manufacturing plant.

Since then, workers have attended a steady stream of job fairs. But they've also watched employers across the nation announce job cuts, including 533,000 last month, the worst in 34 years.

The Van Nuys, Calif.-based company decided to close because automakers were building fewer sports-utility vehicles. Including other locations, it has cut its total work force by 29 percent.

The closing in Pittsburg also could hurt local school funding as students move away and the real-estate market will deal with a flood of homes for sale.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)