Sherrill Manufacturing to lay off 86 employees

SHERRILL, N.Y. (WKTV) - Sherrill Manufacturing has lost a major contract - their largest customer - to China, and the impact will be a loss of more than 80 employees.

Sherrill Manufacturing, maker of world-renowned flatware, is laying off 86 employees, Oneida County Workforce Development officials said.

David Mathis with Workforce Development said his organization had received a Warn notice from the company. Warn notices are filed by companies prior to layoffs.

Mathis said the site will be left with 22 employees. The layoffs will take effect April 5 through May 31, according to the Warn Notice.

Mathis said that because the 86 workers were displaced by foreign competition, they're entitled to federal benefits for re-training and even relocation.

The loss of the company's largest customer accounts for more than 60% of its anticipated revenue.

The current manufacturing site was established by the Oneida community in the early 1800s. The original factory manufactured bear traps, canned goods and leather items. In the late 1800s, the facility began to produce silverware. Ownership passed to Oneida Ltd. in 1880 and production was dramatically increased through the 1990s.

Facing stiff competition from importers in combination with changing market conditions, Oneida Ltd. was forced to cease manufacturing operations in North America and sold the facility to Sherrill Manufacturing on March 22, 2005. Current owners Matthew Roberts and Gregory Owens founded SMI to operate as an independent supplier to Oneida Ltd.

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