About 115 employees will lose their jobs with the planned closing of the more than 50-year-old MACtac manufacturing plant in Stow.
A spokeswoman for the plant’s owner, Bemis Co. Inc., said Monday the plant is no longer “cost competitive.”
Workers at the facility on Darrow Road primarily make solvent-based pressure-sensitive adhesive materials used in a variety of applications.
The 160-employee headquarters of Bemis’ pressure sensitive materials division will remain in Stow. The headquarters offices are attached to the manufacturing facility.
The manufacturing plant will close around May 3. Workers will receive severance and health-care benefits will continue for a time after the shutdown. Benefit details were not available.
“The decision wasn’t made lightly,” said Bemis spokeswoman Erin Winters, director of investor relations for the publicly traded company, headquartered in Neenah, Wis. “It’s not a reflection of the performance of the workforce or anything like that. It’s simply not cost competitive to make the solvent-based pressure sensitive materials.”
The Stow plant is a local industrial landmark. Entrepreneur Burton Morgan began the business, founding MACtac as Morgan Adhesives Co. in Stow in 1959 with the financial backing of Bemis Bag Co., now Bemis Co.
Bemis purchased Morgan’s remaining shares in the company in 2000. Burton Morgan died in 2003 at age 86. A Hudson-headquartered foundation that he established in 1967 had more than $126 million in assets in 2012.
Bemis has other plants that make water-based or “hot-melt” pressure sensitive materials, Winters said. The other facilities are in Columbus, Ind.; Scranton, Pa.; Belgium; and Mexico.
Employment at the Stow plant has decreased, Winters said, as the company has moved away from using the solvent-based method — the original technology for the pressure-sensitive materials industry.
The plant had annual sales of about $45 million. The pressure sensitive materials are used in such items as adhesive labels and graphics, such as the large plastic images emblazoned on buses. The automotive industry uses pressure-sensitive materials to attach carpeting to vehicle interiors and for other applications.
Bemis said it will record a pre-tax charge related to the closing of about $30 million.
Outplacement services to help affected employees find other work will be offered beginning this month, Bemis said.
Stow Mayor Sara Drew said the plant is one of the larger private employers in the Akron suburb of roughly 35,000 people.
Other sizable employers are Akron General Medical Center, National Machine Group, Matco Tools Corp., Wrayco Industries Inc., J.D. Clunk & Associates and Audio-Technica U.S. Inc. Many of the city’s manufacturing employers are located in the industrial corridor area that includes Commerce Drive and Darrow Road.
Drew said the city will help the affected workers, including coordinating with Summit County Job and Family Services to provide education on available benefits and services.
\Hourly workers are represented by Teamsters Local 348, according to a letter filed with the state’s Department of Job and Family Services. The letter does not say how many of the affected employees are hourly workers.
Drew said the city, if asked, “will do anything it can” to help Bemis find other uses for portions of the Darrow Road property that will be vacated.
Winters said there are no immediate plans for the manufacturing space. She did not know the size of the space.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or email@example.com.