215 workers in Cumberland County to be laid off

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Mar 5, 2014 3:00 PM

(Carlisle) -- A major manufacturer in Cumberland County is closing its plant and laying off all 215 workers. Berkeley Contract Packaging will shut down the facility in Newville by April 25th, just a year after moving from Carlisle into an expanded space.


The New Jersey-based company makes packaging materials like shrink wrap.

"There is some concern, I think anytime you have any layoff and you have more specialized workers. I think there's going to be the concern of, 'Do they have the diverse skillset and background to maybe apply and be qualified for other jobs and job opportunities?'", says Jonathan Bowser, CEO of the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation.

Politicians and economists often speak of indirect benefits when jobs are created.

In this case though, Bowser says it's a big negative.

"You also have to take a look at that, it's going to be lost revenue, with not only the employees who are not now out in their communities spending money on consumer goods, but then also you have the businesses that supported this plan that had this lost revenue. And that's a hard number to track."

Bowser was caught off guard by the announcement, but says the economic development corporation hopes to work with workforce development centers to get workers ready for a job search.

He says despite the job losses, Cumberland County still has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state.

He points to recent expansions by Unilever, Carlisle Construction, Proctor and Gamble, among others as proof the county is on the right path.

Berkeley Packaging did not respond to a request for comment.

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