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90 jobs lost as last pieces of Oneida Ltd. shut down locally

By ANNA MEILER

SHERRILL, N.Y. (WKTV) -- An over 100-year long era is coming to an end as residents say goodbye to the last piece of a company that gave their home the name Silver City.

"It's like losing someone that's been with you for many years. A grandparent or something of that nature," said Bob Comis, Sherrill City Manager.

EveryWare Global Inc. owns the popular dinnerware manufacturer, Oneida Ltd. They faxed Comis Monday to let him know they will be closing the last Oneida Ltd. office and retail store, as part of a consolidation that will bring all company operations to Ohio.

One of the largest dinnerware manufacturers in the United States, it's likely you own a piece of Oneida Limited silverware. But, the company did more than make a popular product. It made a community.

"Everybody around here knows each other because of the factory. Every other person you talk to is going to say 'Yea I worked there once," said George Seifert.

The factory closed in 2005 putting hundreds out of work. now as the last pieces of the company shut down, 90 more locals will lose their jobs.

"Where are they going to go to find jobs? Right now the economy is so slow. When you put people out of work there's nowhere for them to go, so it's a sad case," said Gerald Scotty, who frequently buys Oneida products for his Utica restaurant.

Across the lot at Kenwood Kakes and Confections, all the candy jars are made by Oneida. But now this new business owner is losing her supplier and the foot traffic.

"I'm not going to see the flow coming through here that goes there every day. Very busy there. People come from everywhere to go to Oneida," said Wendy McClure, the owner.

"It's not only the economic impact, it's the social impacts. Where are these people that are going to be displaced where are they going to be able to pick up jobs and continue to support their families and themselves? So, we don't know that yet," said Comis.

As the days dwindle until the doors lock, customers are rushing in to get their last piece of home grown history.

"It is just a terribly sad day. Another vacant building, another factory down the drain," said Seifert.

The store will permanently close in 90 days.

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