Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller
Patch Products announced today the permanent layoff of 13 employees at its Smethport, Pennsylvania facility. This amounts to 45% of the local workforce, which now numbers 16. Layoffs include both office personnel and those working the assembly line.
“Patch’s business is healthy, but our mix of products and customers is changing,” said Brian Maxwell, President of Patch. “Unfortunately this mix has negatively affected our Smethport facility.”
“I want to thank our employees for their service and dedication to Patch. This is a difficult time, and we’re doing everything possible to provide support to those affected,” said Maxwell.
Employees whose jobs have been eliminated have been provided a severance package and resources to assist them in their job search.
A spokesperson with Patch said today’s layoffs are not part of a phased plan to eliminate the Smethport facility, but added that nobody can predict how the market or the economy will change in the future.
Mayor Ross Porter noted, “Smethport has been going head to head in the toy industry with the Chinese for many years, and up until now we have been holding our own. Patch is competing with China in the real world and they are trimming the workforce to stay competitive. This is a set-back for us, but we really want Patch Products to stay healthy and viable.”
Porter said the Smethport workforce has a history of being dedicated, hard working, focused and creative. “We are confident we can successfully compete in the global market. We are wishing Patch all the best to bounce back to its former workforce strength here in Smethport.“
Patch Products, headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of family entertainment products. Games, puzzles, activity kits, collegiate-licensed foam sports toys and classroom teaching tools are the core product lines. Top-selling brands include Buzzword, What’s Yours Like?, Toss Up!, Swap!, Smethport, Lauri, Tall-Stacker and Wooly Willy.