BREAKING: Silgan to close in January, 169 layoffs expected

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UPDATED: Wednesday, 10:33 a.m.

A Winfield plastics manufacturer is closing its doors and will soon begin layoffs of 169 employees.

According to a formal notice from the company to employees Tuesday, Silgan Dispening Systems will begin layoffs on January 27 and will end “on or about” March 1.

Silgan told employees doors will close Jan. 9 and the layoffs will be permanent.

Silgan said in the notice the closure of the facility was a “consolidation” measure for the company and added some employees will be offered positions at its Grandview, Missouri facility.

“The impact on the Cowley County community is disappointing and it’s certainly particular for those impacted by it,” Cowley First/Cowley County Economic Development Director Jessica Falk told Cowley Post Tuesday night. “Upon learning of the announcement, City and County officials reached out to the company to see if they would be interested in meeting with local and state officials to reconsider this decision.

“No response was made by the company.  We understand these are corporate decisions, not made by the local team.”

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Silgan Holdings Inc., a $4.4 billion manufacturing conglomerate based out of Stamford, Connecticut, bought the Winfield location from WestRock — formally known as Calmar — in 2017.

It closed two metal container manufacturing plants in 2019 in Mount Vernon, Missouri and Waupun, Wisconsin, and in January 2020, announced six closures for canmaking plants.

Market numbers for the company were down for 2023 compared to 2022, according to a second quarter report from Business Wire in July. This summer, Silgan CEO Adam Greenlee cited several issues via a July report from PackagingDive.com, including decreased demand in Europe and inventory complications following the immediate surge in demand for household cleaners and sanitizers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A photo of the closure notice sent to Cowley Post by an employee Tuesday. (Click photo for a bigger image)

“Cowley First/Cowley County Economic Development is working to minimize the fallout from the plant’s closure by working with the company to retain the workforce talent,” Falk said. “The first priority is to make sure these folks get reemployed within Cowley County.

“We have industry and businesses in the County that are hiring.  We will connect individuals with human resource agents and our own local job portal www.cowleycountyks.gov/CowleyFirstJobListings, as a way to point individuals to local jobs.”

Falk added the closure highlights the importance of local and state partnerships when it comes make the county more visible to potential businesses.

“Cowley First is also working to foster the vital relationship between economic development and site selection consultants to make Cowley County more competitive and successful,” she said “City and County officials are working with Team Kansas and the Department of Commerce to promote Cowley County as a viable option for corporate site location decisions. 

“Companies are choosing to relocate to Kansas because the Department of Commerce is actively doing more to showcase the state as a location with an affordable cost of doing business and heightened quality of life.”

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