Techneglas, the largest manufacturer of television glass in North America, will cease manufacturing operations at each of its three plant locations in Columbus and Perrysburg, Ohio, and Pittston, Pa. Wind-down operations have begun and are expected to be completed by the end of the year. The majority of employees at the Columbus and Pittston manufacturing sites have been curtailed. Since 2000, Techneglas has been restructuring and working to cut manufacturing and operating costs, and to improve productivity. Employment at Techneglas has been reduced from approximately 3400 employees at its peak in 1997 to the current level of about 1100 employees. "Well-known factors beyond the company's control have made this event unavoidable," said Joseph Schaeufele, vice president of manufacturing and engineering operations. "Our employees and management have been working tirelessly to turn this situation around, but these efforts have not been successful in offsetting increased costs of energy, raw materials and labor. The pressure from offshore glass supply has held prices down. Price erosion coupled with volume loss due to consumer demand for new technology such as plasma, LCD and projection sets has crippled the entire North American television glass industry." Techneglas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nippon Electric Glass of Japan.