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ACCO move is good, bad news


OGDENSBURG — The city of Ogdensburg received good news on Thursday with the announcement that ACCO Brands will move most of its manufacturing and distribution operations in Brampton, Ontario, to its distribution center here.

“We’re consolidating it in one place,” ACCO spokesman Richard Nelson said Friday. “This is very good news for Ogdensburg.”

More jobs are possible at the company’s 300,000-square-foot distribution center at 941 ACCO Way, starting with calling back laid-off workers, the company said.

The Illinois-based company, which makes three-ring binders, folders and document covers, said it will close the Brampton plant, eliminating 95 hourly and 30 salaried jobs there. An additional 70 office jobs will be transferred to an ACCO-owned Mead office supply facility in Mississaugua, Ontario.

But the consolidation also comes at the expense of the town of Oswegatchie, where the company has had a presence since 1946. ACCO Brands said it will move the manufacturing operations of its 140,000-square-foot plant to the Ogdensburg distribution center. That will put 140 employees under one roof.

“They called me a couple of days ago and told me about it,” said Town Supervisor Alfred “Bud” Nichols. “This won’t be good news for us.”

Mr. Nichols said he hopes the building, which is assessed at $1,465,000, will be marketed for future use.

The consolidating of the manufacturing and distribution operations work will begin immediately and is expected to be completed by January.

ACCO Executive Vice President Thomas W. Tedford on Thursday called the plan a design to “position the company to continue to support the Canadian and U.S. businesses in a more efficient and cost-effective manner, and enhance future business potential.”

City leaders welcomed the announcement.

“It’s good news if you’re keeping jobs in the north country,” Mayor William D. Nelson said.

“We are grateful that ACCO has seen fit to expand its Ogdensburg operation,” said Ogdensburg City Manager John M. Pinkerton. “The city applauds ACCO for continuing its legacy of producing products in the north country and distributing them throughout the world. ACCO proves that manufacturing in the United States is a viable option for those who are innovative and creative enough to compete with anybody in the world.”

ACCO Brands is being assisted on the project by the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency. The agency is providing assistance in the form of a sales tax exemption for equipment purchases and infrastructure improvements, and reimbursement for training expenses.

“When a globally recognized company like ACCO chooses to bring more operations and more jobs to St. Lawrence County, it speaks volumes for the local workforce and for this area’s ability to compete in today’s challenging economic environment,” said Patrick J. Kelly, chief executive officer of the St. Lawrence County IDA. “ACCO has a long history in Ogdensburg, and we are extremely pleased that they continue to find ways to benefit from our strategic border location.”

Mr. Kelly added that St. Lawrence County provided the IDA with an allocation from its Tribal State Compact Funds for training local workers, and that a portion of the funds is being used to assist in this project.

“The county had the vision to recognize that training funds can be very important as companies work to retain and add workers, and federal resources for these programs have been drastically reduced,” he said. “By providing Tribal Compact funds, the county has enabled us to assist in projects like this, and we are seeing the benefit from their investment.”

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