150 jobs to be lost at Hunt Valley Langston to consolidate making of machines at its plant in N.J.

In Baltimore County since 1990

British-owned firm to complete the move by end of year

Manufacturing

August 17, 1996|By Kevin L. McQuaid | Kevin L. McQuaid,SUN STAFF

The Langston Corp., a New Jersey-based machine manufacturer, has informed employees it plans to close its Hunt Valley operation and eliminate more than 150 jobs as part of a corporate consolidation.

The company made the decision to consolidate manufacturing activities in Cherry Hill, N.J. because it provided "excellent manufacturing processes and support functions."

"The company has reviewed several options for the business and decided to consolidate its two existing factories at Hunt Valley and Cherry Hill onto a single site by the end of the year," said Leo Maynes, Langston's president, in a prepared statement.

"This will enhance the group's manufacturing operations and allow for the better use of future investment."

TTC The Hunt Valley facility is one of three operated by Langston that makes machines used to produce corrugated boxes and other shipping containers.

Hunt Valley and Cherry Hill represent the company's only U.S. operations, however.

Langston, a subsidiary of Molins PLC with more than 600 employees worldwide and annual sales in excess of $100 million, also operates factories in England, Brazil, Mexico and China.

Langston has owned the Hunt Valley facility since 1990, when it bought the former William C. Staley Machinery Corp. It could not be determined what Langston would do with its 60,000-square-foot facility at 11110 Pepper Road in Baltimore County.

The Cherry Hill plant, which also serves as the company's headquarters, is roughly six times larger than the Hunt Valley operation, according to the company.

Baltimore County officials were surprised by the internal announcement Thursday, and had little information on the pending closure.

"We received a telephone call today," Robert Hannon, director of the county's economic development office said yesterday. "But the information is sketchy. We plan to follow up with a focus on possible business retention."

"The first step is to find out what took place and what influenced their decision to leave, whether it was a labor issue, caused by emerging markets, access to working capital or regulatory issues," Hannon added. "There's a whole menu of things that could have contributed, but obviously the jobs are of a magnitude that we should pay attention to, and we plan to do everything that we can."

Maynes added that the company also plans to "provide every assistance to employees who will not be transferring to Cherry Hill," including counseling and help with state agencies so that -- workers can find new jobs.

"It was particularly disappointing to have had to come to this conclusion, given the high level of skills within the work force and the tremendous commitment given by everyone at Hunt Valley over the years," Maynes said.

Pub Date: 8/17/96

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