The largest industrial employer in Brockville is closing it's plant, eliminating close to 500 jobs.

Procter & Gamble's Brockville site is permanently closing in late 2020 or early 2021, the company said Wednesday. About 480 employees will be affected.

"It's devastating," says Ali Grier, whose mom has worked at the plant for close to 25 years.

"Everybody's parents work there, people our age work there, so it's going to affect everyone."

The move comes a result of the company re-locating its production of Swiffer and Bounce lines to a new facility in West Virginia. 

Brockville mayor Dave Henderson is disappointed by the closure. It wasn't a complete surprise to him, as the town has been watching the development of the West Virginia site and expecting they could be impacted. He doesn't believe the cost of hydro in Ontario was a factor in P&G's decision.

"It would be tough to jump on government policies or those types of things, those aren't the issues here," Henderson says. "The issue here is a corporate direction that has adversely affected us and it's hit the families."

A P&G spokesman said employees were notified at an 8 a.m. meeting Wednesday, and were sent home for the day to talk it over with their families.

"Decisions like this are never easy," spokesman Jeff LeRoy said in an email. "It's important to recognize this announcement is 3-4 years in advance, and P&G is committed to working with every employee to ensure they have a successful personal transition."

LeRoy said that could include transferring to another P&G site, including the company's Belleville, Ont. plant.

P&G has operated in Brockville for nearly 40 years.