Manufacturing plant to close in May


The closure of a plastic bottle manufacturing plant at Freeman Field by the end of May will leave 55 workers without a job.

The closure of the Pretium Packaging plant at 2230 D. Avenue East in Seymour was announced through a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act notice filed Wednesday with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Tim Wehrfritz, senior vice president of mergers and acquisitions with Pretium Packaging, said the decision to close the plant comes after an intensive yearlong analysis.

“In order to improve our effectiveness for our customers and to ensure we remain cost competitive, we felt it necessary to consolidate our business across the many other Pretium sites,” he said.

Wehrfritz said Pretium employees at Seymour will be provided severance benefits as the facility winds down in stages during the next three to six months.

Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., said while there is never a good time for companies to close, many industries in Jackson County currently have job openings and that Pretium workers will find employment with those companies.

“We are sorry to hear of the decision by Pretium Packaging management to close their Seymour location and pledge our support to help those workers who will be displaced in the coming months,” Plump said.

According to the notice, Wehrfritz, the plant’s 55 employees, including the plant manager, a production supervisor, nine operators, six stock handlers and 12 technicians, with be permanently laid off in phases with the first phase beginning May 29 and ending June 12. The second phase will begin June 19 and end July 3, and the third phase will begin Aug. 28 and end Sept. 11.

Wehrfritz said the plant closure is scheduled to be completed on or before Sept. 30.

Plump said in addition to WorkOne’s involvement to assist Pretium employees, JCIDC already has scheduled a job fair May 16 and 17, which he hopes Pretium employees will attend.

According to Pretium’s website, the company operates 12 plants, including the one in Seymour. Most of the plants are located along the East Coast, but the company is headquartered in Chesterfield, Missouri, near St. Louis.

Pretium makes high-density polyethylene plastic bottles for food, household cleaning and lawn and garden products, automotive cleaning additives and others.

In August 2010, the company announced a $4 million expansion project that added 13 new jobs to bring the plant’s workforce to 82.

WARN notices are federally mandated.

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