Company eliminating 60 jobs in Middletown

A company with a Middletown presence is laying off 60 employees starting this summer.

All affected employees at Essity Operations Wausau, 700 Columbia Ave., have been notified of their layoff dates and that their separation from employment will be permanent, according to a mass layoff notice sent Thursday to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

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Employees are expected to be terminated from employment starting Aug. 16, with all separations complete by the end of September.

Fifty-four of the affected employees are represented by a union.

Jennifer Ekey, Middletown’s director of economic development, said “it’s always difficult to learn of a layoff like this.”

“Given the current low unemployment rate and the availability of jobs in Middletown, I am very confident that the displaced workers will be able to find employment that will be suitable for their skill set,” Ekey said.

Both the State of Ohio and Butler County Rapid Response Teams from Ohio Means Jobs have already reached out to Essity to help with the placement of the displaced workers, she said.

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The Rapid Response program is designed to assist the workforce transition into new employment and services are provided at no cost.

In 2016, Wisconsin-based Wausau Paper Corp, the parent company of Middletown paper mill Wausau, was acquired for $513 million by the company formerly known as SCA Hygeine, a Swedish maker of sustainable personal care, tissue and forest products

In 2017, the company split into two separate entities, hygiene division Essity and forest products division SCA.

The notice announcing the layoffs, which was sent to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Service on Thursday, did not provide the number of employees now working at the facility, which had 180 employees as of 2014.

Company officials did not reply to a request for updated employment figures and what led them to reduce the local workforce.

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