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Smith-Lee to close, 70 jobs eliminated in Oneida

Manufacturing at a longtime Oneida plant will come to an end today. Hoffmaster Group Incorporated announced Monday it is shutting down its Smith-Lee plant, laying off about 70 people.

The plant has been around since 1898. The Fitch Street facility makes disposable tableware productions for the company's Foodservice Division. Manufacturing will end Friday and all customer shipments will end no later than April 24.

"Just wished it never would have happened, but things are pretty rough everywhere. It's not just here, it's every place. Hopefully, everybody in here can find a job and continue on with their life," said Lee Voelker.

The company will continue to operate two other Foodservice manufacturing sites in Connecticut and Wisconsin. The foodservice president says salaried workers will receive individual severance packages and the company is working with the union to determine severances for hourly employees.

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