Close to 50 jobs lost at Edgewell Dover plant

 

DOVER — Less than 50 employees were impacted by a reduction in staff at the Edgewell Personal Care Dover facility that began Monday, a spokeswoman said in response to a Delaware State News inquiry this week.

The affected employees were notified Monday, according to Edgewell Corporate Communications Manager Lauren Medina, and all other colleagues were told at meetings later in the day.

According to Edgewell, salaried and hourly staff from its Quality and Operations departments were part of the reduction. The company declined to publicly disclose the number of staff members at the plant at 804 Walker Road.

Asked about the reason for staff adjustments, Ms. Medina said, “Changes in our production rates due to the performance of select business categories led to the adjustments.”

While “these changes are never easy,“ Ms. Medina said there “are at times necessary for the continuity of the business. As an employer, we are proud to remain in a surplus of jobs created in the Dover area.”

As part of city leadership’s “job to create and bring new jobs to Dover and the surrounding area but also to keep the jobs that are already here,” Mayor Robin R. Christiansen said he and the city manager will meet with Edgewell officials and other local employers “to get a general overview of their health and future plans and needs.”

The meetings are not scheduled to address any particular situation, the mayor said, rather planned as an ongoing communication between municipal and business leaders to benefit all community and private interests that tie them together.

Recently consolidated operations from Montreal, Canada, created more than 200 new jobs at the Dover facility, Ms. Medina said. The move made Dover’s plant the only manufacturing site of Fem Care products.

In April 2016, the Kent Economic Partnership, a non-profit economic development organization serving Kent County, recognized Edgewell as its Economic Development Trendsetter Award winner for “Expansion and new job creation in an existing business,” according to the Partnership.

The Kent Economic Partnership cited Bedford “Buff” Bruno for his work as Edgewell’s Global Fem Care Operations Director for Personal Care.

Edgewell has been a separate company since July 2015 and includes brand names Schick, Edge, Playtex, Stayfree, Carefree, OB, Wet Ones, Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic.

At the September 2015 Kent Economic Summit, Edgewell was cited for adding 270 jobs within the last year.

Edgewell Personal Care Operations became a standalone business in 2015 after Energizer’s Household Products and Personal Care businesses were separated.

Edgewell was formerly known as Energizer Holdings Inc. after consolidation with the Playtex Energizer Personal Care facility in 2014.

“Splitting the household and personal care businesses created greater opportunity to streamline operations and focus on our core business of personal care,” Ms. Medina said at the time.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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