Pro Corp. PMC, a Florence, Mass., company that used to bill itself as North America's oldest plastic injection molder, will close its doors soon, according to the city's economic development coordinator.
The company has been downsizing in recent years and now employs about 30 people, according to Teri Anderson, economic development coordinator for Northampton, Mass., which includes Florence. She said the state's Rapid Response team has been notified of the pending shutdown.
Linnea Walsh, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development, said the state is providing resources to Pro's employees who will lose their jobs.
Rob Jones, spokesman for PMC Group, the Mount Laurel, N.J., parent of Pro, declined comment.
Anderson said Pro had an agreement to sell its 140,000-square-foot facility last year, but the deal was not completed. She said the building is still on the market.
``We would certainly like to see it continue in industrial or commercial use,'' she said.
The company did sell a warehouse to a metal processing company in November.
Pro was founded in 1847 by Alfred Critchlow, a manufacturer of horn buttons. He later experimented with shellac and was among the earliest to use injection molding.
In its early days, the company was known by different names such as Pro Molding Co., Pro-phy-lac-tic Brush Co. and later Pro Bush. It made buttons and toothbrushes. In 1964, it was among the first custom molders to concentrate on the business equipment market.
Anderson said that during its heyday 50 years ago, the company had more than 1,500 employees at its Florence complex.
PMC Group bought Pro, then known as Summit Plastic Solutions Inc., for $5.2 million through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in October 1997. Prior to filing for Chapter 11 protection from creditors, Pro had about 150 employees.