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Fort Wayne label manufacturing plant phasing out operations; job layoffs coming over next year

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Avery Dennison Corporation will gradually phase out 170 Fort Wayne jobs over the next year, moving production to other company sites in Greenfield, IN and Ohio.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - An Avery Dennison plant on Independence Drive in the northwest part of the city is slated to close in about a year, cutting jobs at a time when the local economy is under pressure from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The city is coming out on the losing end of a consolidation plan announced by the company that will result in approximately 170 jobs being lost.

Avery Dennison Corporation says the job eliminations will occur between now and October 2021, when production is moved to plants in Greenfield Indiana, and Mentor Ohio.

Many of the labels you find on products sold at a number of drug stores have been made for years by Avery Dennison here in the city.

The shakeup will hurt the Fort Wayne economy which is a little more fragile because of the effects of the pandemic.

The company says the decision had nothing to do with COVID-19.

Instead, local plant manager Alex Connett says the change was ordered after a review of several options, and that it "... in no way reflects the dedication or performance of our colleagues at the Fort Wayne facility."

"We were landlocked, so, if you look at the location of the facility, we were bordered on three sides by streets and we have another commercial property right behind us, so our ability to expand at the site in Fort Wayne was limited by our location," Connett said.

Northeast Indiana Works, which oversees workforce development issues in this part of the state, was surprised by the Avery Dennison announcement.

But it is prepared to work with the company's employees who don't want to transfer out of town but would like to keep living and working here.

The agency can offer job re-training or skills upgrades to workers and try to align them with other job opportunities in this area.

Jeff Neumeyer

Jeff Neumeyer is a reporter for WPTA.

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