Plastics Color Corp. laid off about 20 workers at a Massachusetts plant in March, and plans to close a New Jersey plant and shift work to a new plant in Connecticut by the end of the year.
The company had already announced plans to close the Northbridge, Mass., plant and move the operations to its new Killingly, Conn., facility. But the company had not previously announced the layoffs in Northbridge, nor the plan to close the New Jersey plant.
While the custom compounder and colorant maker is reorganizing its Northeast presence, it plans to keep its headquarters in or near Somerset, N.J.
The company laid off about 20 workers in late March at its Coz Plastics Inc. plant in Northbridge. The layoffs came as Coz Plastics streamlined its third shift, reducing its work force to 114, Mike Calicchio, vice president of sales, said in a telephone interview from Somerset.
The company will close its Somerset production plant by the end of the year and shift workers and equipment 20 miles north to the new Killingly plant, he said.
With the help of a $5 million low-interest loan from the state of Connecticut, the firm purchased a 213,00-square-foot building March 17. Calicchio said renovations of that building are under way. The company will move equipment from Somerset to Killingly one piece at a time over three months to minimize customer inconvenience.
``This will allow us to gain efficiencies and economies of scale,'' Calicchio said. ``All the raw materials can be brought to one site.''
The Somerset plant, which employs 23, has already sent one extruder to the California plant. The other five extruders will be transferred to Killingly.
Calicchio said all the Somerset employees were offered jobs, but that an unspecified number would not transfer to the new plant.
He noted the company's corporate offices will remain in or near Somerset.
Calicchio said the plan is to sell the plant building, then relocate the headquarters to local office space.
``As a company, we view this as a very positive move,'' Calicchio said. ``It's going to be a tough year because of the big move, but we are real anxious to move forward. This is a good opportunity for us to grow.''
The company also is looking to enter the European market and is seeking an acquisition in Great Britain. Plastics Color Corp. had sales of $60 million in 1998 and expects to reach $70 million in 1999.
Plastics Color Corp. is owned by PMC Inc. of Sun Valley, Calif.
Other Plastics Color Corp. plants are located in Calumet City, Ill.; Ashboro, N.C.; and Chula Vista, Calif.