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Fujicolor facility in Williamsport to close March 12

Closure will affect 125 nonunion employees

Closure will affect 125 nonunion employees

February 29, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

WILLIAMSPORT -- Fujicolor Processing Inc. in Williamsport will close March 12, a Fuji spokeswoman said Friday.

Darla Camman, director of customer service & sales administration for Fujicolor Processing, said the closing will affect 125 nonunion employees, including labor and management. Severance packages will be offered, she said.

"In an effort to streamline our distribution network and maximize efficiencies, the facility located in Williamsport, Md., will be closing," Camman said. "The decision to close the plant was extremely difficult. It is in no way a reflection of the performance of the associates or management of the facility, to whom the company is grateful for their years of excellent service and commitment."

Peter Thomas, executive director of the Western Maryland Consortium, said his organization will try to help find new jobs for the employees. Occupational retraining and rsum writing are among the services that the Western Maryland Consortium offers, he said.

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"In a nutshell, that's what we hope to be able to do," Thomas said.

After hearing Thursday that the facility would close, Thomas said he called Fujicolor to learn more about the situation. He said he hadn't heard from them as of Friday afternoon. The sooner the Consortium knows what is going on, the sooner it can start to help, he said.

Noel Williams, operations manager at Fujicolor's Williamsport facility, said he couldn't comment on whether he would be transferred to another position within the company.

Williams, who also is a co-chairman for The United Way of Washington County and a member of the Williamsport Rotary Club and the Greater Hagerstown Committee, said he plans to stay active in the community.

The Williamsport facility processes film materials for Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Wal-Mart Super Centers and other retail stores that operate in the northeast, according to the 2006 Washington County Business & Industry Directory.

Camman said customers in the photo industry have been migrating from film to digital photography, which played a major factor in the decision to close.

"Recently, the photo industry has been experiencing change unlike any period in history ... In order to be properly positioned for the future, it was necessary for our company to re-evaluate our strategies and direction," Camman said.

The Williamsport facility opened in October 1994.

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