"We're trying to do everything we can," said County Mayor Estelle Herron.
The proposed plan would give Yale a 100 percent city and county property tax break for 10 years. The tax break would be worth over $1 million for the 10-year period.
County Commission voted to accept the plan Monday. In a special called meeting earlier in the day, the Lenoir City Council voted unanimously to support the incentive package.
Yale's corporate parent, Assa Abloy of Sweden, announced last week that it would consolidate its Lenoir City operations with another manufacturing plant in Berlin, Conn. Yale, which employs more than 235, has been in Lenoir City since 1953.
"They are a very big part of this city's history," said Lenoir City Mayor Tony Aikens.
The loss of jobs would be a devastating blow, he said.
According to the resolution passed by Lenoir City, "the resulting loss of employment and wages will have a ripple effect on existing service providers and public revenue and services in addition to the detrimental impact on families impacted by the relocation of the facility."
County Mayor Herron said that in the case of some families, Yale currently employs husbands, wives and children, all depending on the company to survive.
"We're doing this for the families," she said.
Mayor Aikens said that the city and county are also working with the state to develop the kind of incentive package that would encourage Yale to think again about the decision to close the local plant.
While the Yale headquarters has yet to respond to the offer, Aikens said that discussions with local management were very encouraging.
"They appreciate what we are trying to do," he said.
Yale product development and technical product support will continue to be located in Lenoir City. Aikens said he did not know how many employees would remain to run the support operation but said he thought it to be "very few."
Loudon has been trying hard to encourage new industry to locate in the county. Last year the county offered an incentive worth a million dollars in site preparation costs as well as tax cuts and low-cost land to lure a distribution center rumored to be Amazon.com. The company decided to build the center in Middle Tennessee.
Loudon County has in the recent past approved other tax breaks to save local jobs including those for expansions by large employers including Kimberly Clark and Tate and Lyle.