A defense contractor will close its plant in Buena Vista, putting about 80 people out of work by year’s end.

HDT Global plans to move its operations to a facility in Huntsville, Alabama, the Ohio-based company said in a statement Monday.

The news release did not say how many people currently work at the manufacturing facility on Green Forest Avenue, where HDT has operated since 2012.

The company has been in Rockbridge County since 2000, when it was called Base-X, founded by a Northern Virginia entrepreneur. She sold the company, which then had a plant in Fairfield, to Hunter Defense Technologies in 2005.

Brian Brown, Buena Vista’s director of economic development, said the closing will affect between 80 and 100 employees.

Production will continue until Dec. 31. Most recently, HDT workers at the plant made military tents for emergency operation centers.

In announcing the closing, HDT said it was also planning to consolidate operations in the Fredericksburg area with a new facility that will “expand our capabilities and facilitate innovation and product development.”

HDT makes what it calls “deployable solutions” for the U.S. military and its allies, including shelters, generators, heaters, air filtration devices and robotics. It also serves civilian government and commercial customers.

Employees and city officials were told of the company’s plans to shutter its Buena Vista plant Monday morning, Brown said.

“Our employees are our greatest asset, and with teamwork and engagement we intend to make this transition as easy as possible,” the company news release stated.

An HDT representative did not immediately respond to a question about whether the Buena Vista employees would be offered jobs elsewhere within the company.

HDT had been leasing the building on Buena Vista’s east side, which previously was occupied by an automobile axle manufacturer.

Brown said the city plans to start marketing the building for a new tenant “as soon as we are able to.”

Get business news delivered straight to your inbox with our email newsletter.

Laurence Hammack covers environmental issues, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and business and enterprise stories. He has been a reporter for The Roanoke Times for more than three decades.

Load comments