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Archive for Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hallmark: Layoffs won’t affect Lawrence in short term

November 5, 2013

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Hallmark officials said today that the Lawrence production plant will not be affected when the company eliminates 100 jobs this year by streamlining the product development process.

But they gave no assurances about the possibility of future job cuts over the next year as the Kansas City-based company phases out its party-supply operations, eliminating 125 to 150 positions.

"The 100 jobs that will be eliminated this year as a result of the new streamlined greetings product development process will occur here in K.C.," company spokeswoman Julie O'Dell said in an email to the Journal-World today. "No one in Lawrence will be impacted."

In addition to those jobs, however, Hallmark also announced Monday that it would phase out its party-supply business by the end of 2014. O'Dell said those products, which include plates, paper cups, napkins, party favors and table covers, are produced at the company's production plant in Leavenworth.

"That transition will take between 15 and 20 months," O'Dell said. "So, since we are just now starting that transition, I can't confirm whether anyone in Lawrence will be impacted in time."

Hallmark said the second batch of job eliminations would come from "a combination of attrition, realignment and involuntary reductions."

Earlier this year, the Lawrence plant expanded its employment base when it absorbed 200 additional jobs from the closure of Hallmark's Topeka plant.

That move was expected to bring the total job count in Lawrence up to 700. But closing the Topeka plant was part of a series of moves, including voluntary buyouts, aimed at reducing overall employment in northeast Kansas.

In January and February, the city of Lawrence issued building permits for $1.5 million worth of interior renovations in the local plant as the company prepared to move in new equipment.

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