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Smead to downsize Hastings location and close a Georgia facility

Smead Manufacturing in Hastings announced a change in operations that will close one production and distribution facility in Locust Grove, Ga., and transfer the majority of production and distribution activities from the Hastings plant to other Smead locations.

The restructuring, which is designed to streamline operations and improve efficiency, according to a press release, will eliminate about 150 positions in Georgia and 100 positions in Minnesota. Production and distribution facilities in Utah, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas will continue to operate. Smead's corporate headquarters will also remain at its current site in Hastings.

"We've seen a long-term decline in the industry," said Smead President and CEO Sharon Avent, "with technology playing a larger role in the office, as well as consolidation in the industry and in our customer base. We have more capacity than is needed to service today's marketplace. As a result, we must better align our production footprint with the market. Our new manufacturing and distribution structure will ensure suffiecient capacity to meet current and future needs, while maintaining our historically strong levels of customer service."

According to the press release, Smead plans to work with the affected communities in Georgia and Minnesota, and directly with its employees, to assist them in securing new employment.

"This has been a difficult decision and we regret the impact that it will have on our co-workers and friends," Avent said. "We will work with community partners to do everything we can to assist those who are affected."