NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Crane & Co. is consolidating its stationary division closer to its Dalton headquarters and moving 200 jobs out of the city.
Crane plans to build a state-of-the-art facility in Dalton or Pittsfield and transfer its North Adams work force on Curran Highway and approximately 100 other jobs currently in the Pittsfield area there next year.
"This represents a commitment to our customers, employees and owners to continue efforts to reinvigorate this iconic brand," said Crane Chief Executive Officer Charles Kittredge in a statement. Kittredge informed Stationery Division employees in North Adams of the move late this morning.
The cost of the consolidation was not revealed, but Kittredge, in the statement, said he expects a relatively quick return on investment though cost savings. "We also expect that the move will allow us to operate more efficiently in a new state-of-the-art facility," he said.
The move isn't expected to happen for six months; no layoffs are anticipated. The company owns two buildings and the lot they're situated on in the Hardman Industrial Park.
"This is a way to help reduce costs so that employment won't be further affected by layoffs," said Crane spokesman Peter L. Hopkins on Thursday afternoon.
The Stationary Division last March laid off 51 workers at its Personal Design Services department in North Adams and 19 in Dalton.
The company hasn't selected a specific site for the new plant, but it may end up on Crane's sprawling campus along the Pittsfield and Dalton town line, said Hopkins. "It's going to take awhile to find the most suitable space."
In the press release, Kittredge said production represents Excelsior's largest group of employees but that the customer-service function will also be integrated in the Dalton facility, allowing similar improvements in integration and efficiency. The move will also facilitate more effective communication among various departments within the Stationery Division.
Kittredge was in scheduled meetings and not immediately available for comment.
Crane has had operations in North Adams since 1970, when it purchased the Excelsior companies — Excelsior Printing and Excelsior Process & Engraving — founded by the Roberts family in 1892. Crane moved then Excelsior Process & Engraving to the Robert Hardman Industrial Park in 1985. Excelsior Printing Co. on Roberts Drive was purchased by David W. Crane in 2005.
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That's a shame! That's a lot of jobs, taxes and discretionary spending leaving the area.
Wow, your article is going to confuse most readers. Crane, Personal Design Services, and Excelsior. It was Excelsior Process & Engraving until the name changed to Cranes Personal Design Services. Maybe we should get our facts straight before printing this. Oh, and by the way, most of the ones involved in this interview probably did not even work for the company when it was called Excelsior Process & Engraving.
Editor: Story states "its Personal Design Services in North Adams." It also indicates its on Curran Highway in the Hardman Industrial Park. Not that confusing.
And to think, Alcombright wants to lower the commercial tax without raising the residential! I hope Dick has a better plan than the one he showed to us during the election. If he delivers on half of the things he said during the campaign we are in deep trouble!
Very sad day, hearing that a large factory in a newly developed industrial park will close. How much does it cost to build new? Does not make sense to me. To say no jobs loss not everyone can drive that distance. Gas,day care issues,age limit just how long someone would be able to make that drive. Not to count the loss to local markets,stores etc. once people are in Pittsfield they won't shop in North Adams anymore!
Editor: Big loss yeah, but the park was developed more than 20 years ago. It's not all that new.
North Adams has a union mentality that Crane is leaving behind as it moves to Dalton. Crane was just trying to be polite to Barrett by waiting to announce the shutdown in NA but he still got thrown out by a landslide.
The "state of the art" facility that Kittredge referes to is the Byron Weston Mill in Dalton. Crane manufactured paper out of that mill since the 1920's before ending papermaking operations there in 2007. Crane now outsources the paper they use in the Stationery Division by purchasing a vastly inferior product made by Neenah Paper in Wisconsin.
In order to move the North Adams facility to the Byron Weston Mill major refurbishing will be needed. The mill is the typical condition found in all the other outdated mills in New England. This will not be a "state of the art" manufacturing operation. As a matter of fact, it will be less efficient than putting an addition on the much more modern facility in North Adams would have been.
The consoilidatiuon will how about 230 employees under one roof, of which just less than 200 currently work in North Adams.
Here's the commn sense question:How can it possibly be a good business move to shutter a more modern facility that houses 85% of the work force in favor of a dilapated mill that houses the other 15%?
The answer is that it doesn't. The consolidation of operatiuons is a good move.But the move to Dalton is forged entirely on Crane's loyalty to Dalton and disloyalty to the residents of North Adams.It's a shame Crane is abandoning the city that made their engraving business the best in the industry.
Editor: Are you sure its the Byron Weston mill? Their stance is they're not sure where it would go. My first thought was the Stanley Business Park but Byron Weston does seem more obvious.
Crane is an evil company. They treat employees like garbage. North Adams is better off without them.
If hell exists, the people that run it have earned themselves a first class ticket.
Editor: Evil? Do they make little children work day and night? Withold paychecks? Pay less than minimum wage? How exactly are they evil? Businesses make decisions all the time that negatively or positively affect people and communities. No evil; just reality.
Dear Editor - Yes they are evil.
They power a large portion of their workforce with temp workers, which in itself could just be "business" but I believe the main reason is so they can skirt normal worker regulations that have been put into place for a reason. (IE human rights).
I know a temp worker personally that was a very hard worker, and was promoted quickly because she was such a good worker. They have signs up everyone saying "report if you have any injuries" - well one day she hurts her hand slightly and asks to move to another station just for the day to give the hand a rest .. their response? They fire her and call the temp agency and tell them she was a bad worker just so they could avoid paying a cancellation fee to the temp agency (manpower). This wasn't some subjective thing - this person was promoted just days before for being such a good worker.
So yeah, in my book unjustly firing a good worker and then trashing that persons reputation so they have trouble finding new work with the temp agency just to save a few bucks, is evil.
This example is not even including the fact that they charge a heavy premium to wealthy people for paper products and make a hefty profit - and instead of making life good for everyone, including hard working employees, they just take care of themselves - as shown by the skirting labor laws by abusing temp workers. They could make a good profit and make a good life for everyone, but like most corporations they just suck the life out of everyone around them while enriching themselves.
Editor: If it's true about temp workers, then I stand corrected. I have few tears, however, for wealthy people who allow themselves to be overcharged.
I just got done working there for 6 months. They treat temp workers like *&^%, majority of full-time employees are immature, back stabbing ,cut throat, trouble making, s&^t 4 brains.pay is descent is you don't mind spending the majority of your time in a dingy mill around fake bastards! quick summary, nuff' said