TRENTON — The longtime business RainWise, which produces professional grade meteorological equipment, closed its Trenton manufacturing operation June 9.
The company was purchased by Pennsylvania-based Nielsen-Kellerman in January 2020, but the initial plan was not to close the Trenton location, said Nielsen-Kellerman Chief Executive Officer Alix James.
James said that due to the testing and quarantine requirements during the pandemic, travel to the Trenton business, located on Route 3, became so difficult that it was “almost impossible to implement manufacturing improvements.” This led to Nielsen-Kellermen setting up a manufacturing facility in Boothwyn, Pa.
The Trenton location’s 13 employees were told of the closing in April, James said.
Five employees will continue to be employed and work remotely in the fields of research and development, product management and tech support. James said the “Trenton location is closing down just from a manufacturing standpoint.” The remaining eight employees have been laid off with severance.
Nielsen-Kellermen purchased RainWise from a group of eight employees and one retired employee who had previously purchased the company from its founder. Of those eight employees, two are staying on board and six have been laid off with severance. All of them will keep their ownership stake.
James noted that Nielsen-Kellermen “hoped to grow” the Trenton location before the pandemic hit. She also said that the jobs lost in Maine are not going overseas and are staying in the United States (in Pennsylvania). She said that RainWise will continue to operate its own website.
RainWise started in 1974 in Pennsylvania, before setting up shop in Bar Harbor in 1981. In 2014, the company moved to its current location in Trenton.
Equipment the company manufactures includes weather stations, solar monitoring stations and rain gauges for “consumer, enterprise and industrial applications,” according to its website.