Failure to find any bidders for the CSC Ltd. plant in Warren does not bode well for the future of what was once Trumbull County's fourth largest employer and which has roots reaching back 60 years to the Copperweld Steel Co.
Had all gone as planned, the CSC plant would have been auctioned yesterday, and everyone would have some idea today of what the future holds. But on Tuesday, the auction was canceled. Not a single interested bidder had made the $1 million deposit that was required under a bankruptcy court order.
Lots of talk: In the months since CSC filed for reorganization and ceased operations in April, there had been talk of interested buyers for the plant, which would have provided the best opportunity for some of the 1,300 employees to regain their jobs.
Some union officials still talk optimistically about the possibility of finding a friendly buyer, about flaws in the auction process and about the possibility of an employee stock ownership plan.
Gov. Bob Taft has pledged state support if a buyer can be found to get the plant back in operation, and there remains the possibility of federal support.
But time is running out.
Bankruptcy court has a responsibility to distribute whatever assets there are among the creditors, and the creditors have made it clear that they want whatever money there is, even if it is only pennies on the dollar.
Prospects: The next and, increasingly it seems, the almost inevitable step is a piecemeal sale of CSC's assets.
If that happens, what was once Copperweld could be scattered to the winds,.
If there is an angel waiting in the wings to buy the plant on Mahoning Avenue and restore it to operation, the time to act is now.
CSC is important not only to its employees, but to its suppliers and to its community. For every CSC job lost, at least one other job that is indirectly tied to the plant will be lost. And the plant makes an important contribution to the tax base of Champion and Warren townships and the Champion and LaBrae school districts.