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South Hadley paper company plant to close, 67 workers to lose their jobs

  • Canson Inc. in South Hadley. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Aidan Ovano, of Springfield, is a shipping coordinator at Canson Inc. in South Hadley. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Canson Inc. in South Hadley. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Aidan Ovano, of Springfield, is a shipping coordinator at Canson Inc. in South Hadley. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS



Staff Writer 
Friday, April 05, 2019

SOUTH HADLEY — The paper-making company Canson Inc. is closing its plant on Industrial Drive and laying off 67 workers as production moves to Wisconsin. 

Manufacturing equipment from the South Hadley branch was moved in January to Pacon Corp. in Neenah, Wisconsin. Only office staff and distribution employees remain in South Hadley. 

Canson’s parent company, Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini S.p.A. (F.I.L.A.) of Italy, purchased the Wisconsin-based Pacon Corp. last June. Pacon makes many of the same products as Canson, such as fine papers and arts and crafts materials. 

“People have known for a long time” about the layoffs, a temporary worker at Canson, Aidan Ouano, said last Friday, March 29. Canson filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice to the state department of labor. Worker layoffs began on Jan. 17 and will continue through last March. 

Ouano said workers knew since Thanksgiving and have been looking for work elsewhere. Canson employees were offered severance packages and the Holyoke agency Rapid Response has assisted laid-off workers in finding new employment. 

Some employees from the South Hadley Canson plant were offered positions in Wisconsin, although the number of employees transitioning was not available from Pacon.

“It’s never easy when someone loses their job, it’s never a good thing for a community,” Town Administrator Mike Sullivan said. He noted, however, that South Hadley companies Mohawk Fine Paper and E Ink Corporation both have plans for expanding their buildings. 

“Some businesses are closing and some businesses have been growing,” Sullivan said. “We would’ve loved to see (Canson) stay, but we are seeing that when spaces empty they fill up rather quickly. Commercial spaces are starting to see a comeback.” 

In South Hadley, Canson converted paper into sketch pads, art books, note cards, scrapbooks and journals. 

F.I.L.A. was founded in Florence, Italy, in 1920. The company has locations throughout the world, including many in Europe, North and South America, and in Asia.  F.I.L.A. also owns Dixon Ticonderoga and is headquartered in Milan, Italy. 

Luis Fieldman can be reached at lfieldman@gazettenet.com