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Tri-State area to lose 42 jobs to Susquehanna, Tower merger

Losses will affect Washington, Franklin (Pa.), and Fulton (Pa.) counties

January 03, 2012|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com

Forty-two jobs will be eliminated in the Tri-State area when Susquehanna and Tower banks merge Feb. 17, closing five area branches, Susquehanna spokesman Stephen Trapnell said Tuesday.

In Washington County, where Tower's bank at 18233 Maugans Ave. will close and be consolidated into the Susquehanna branch at 13418 Marsh Pike, 14 jobs will be affected, Trapnell said.

In Franklin County, Pa., where three branches are closing, 20 jobs will be affected, and in Fulton County, Pa., where one branch is closing, eight jobs will be affected, he said.

"In some cases, there are branches that are being consolidated into one location because they're in very close proximity, and there is duplication of responsibilities," Trapnell said.

In Franklin County, the Tower branch on Norland Avenue in Chambersburg, the Susquehanna branch in Greencastle and the Susquehanna drive-through operation at the Waynesboro Mall are slated to close. The Tower branch at 232 E. Main St.  in Waynesboro will become drive-through-only, officials have said.

In Fulton County, the Needmore, Pa. branch will close.

Employees whose jobs are being eliminated are encouraged to apply for other open positions in the company, Trapnell said. Positions that become vacant during the months leading up to the merger will be left open until Feb. 17 for those employees, he said.

"The reality is people at both Tower Bank and Susquehanna have a lot of experience and know the local community, so we'd like to retain as many of those experienced employees as possible," Trapnell said.

Employees who are laid off and do not find other positions within the company will be provided with severance packages and career counseling, he said.

Trapnell said after the merger and consolidation, Susquehanna will still have more than 280 employees in Washington County and about 120 in Franklin and Fulton counties.

Timothy R. Troxell, executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, said he hoped many of the affected employees would be able to find other jobs within the company.

"I don't see this as a blow to the local economy," Troxell said. "I see it as two banks joining together to probably become bigger and stronger, and hopefully, that will result in additional jobs in the future."

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