ST. PAUL, Minn. - The packaging company Bemis' plan to close two Minnesota plants will result in the layoff of about 162 workers in the Twin Cities.
Bemis will close the St. Louis Park facility at the end of August or early September. A Minneapolis facility near the University of Minnesota will likely close at the end of 2012, according to Melanie Miller, treasurer and vice president for Bemis.
She said the closings are part of a push to increase efficiency by the company, which has 50 plants in the U.S. and 81 plants worldwide.
"Unfortunately, these two plants don't fit into our plan for growth for those particular divisions," Miller said. "But the other plants we have in Minnesota, and the others we have around the country, we intend to expand and grow."
Miller said the two Minnesota facilities made packaging for food products, coffee and ketchup. She said the business from those plants will be transferred to facilities in Joplin, Mo., and eastern Wisconsin.
In all, the company will close nine locations, including plants in Mexico, Brazil, France and Canada, as well as five in the United States. About 500 workers will lose their jobs in all, Miller said.
The company is helping laid-off employees access career training and other employment services, Miller said.
"In all cases where we have the plants closing around the country and around the world, we're very sensitive to the impact this has on a number of families in the communities," Miller said. "We're working with the employees to provide them with support as they transition into other jobs."
Bemis was headquartered in Minnesota until 2006, when it moved to Neenah, Wis. The company still operates two facilities in Minnesota: Perfecseal in Mankato and Bemistape in Minneapolis.
By Jon Collins, MPR News
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