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Crayola to close Bethel Township warehouse [Lebanon Daily News, Pa.]
[November 27, 2012]

Crayola to close Bethel Township warehouse [Lebanon Daily News, Pa.]

(Lebanon Daily News (PA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Nov. 27--Crayola will close its distribution center on Route 22 in Bethel Township, Lebanon County, in January.

Genco, a Pittsburgh-based logistics firm, manages the 550,000-square-foot warehouse for Crayola, which is based in Easton.

Genco Vice President Dale Dudik sent a letter to the Department of Labor and Industry on Nov. 15, informing the department that Genco will cease all operations at the distribution center at 2869 Route 22, with the first employee dismissals expected to begin on Jan. 18.

About 70 employees will be affected, according to Dudik's letter.

"The cessation is expected to be permanent and the entire facility will be closed," the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification letter says. "No seniority-based bumping rights exist." Copies of the letter were sent to Bob Phillips, chairman of the Lebanon County Board of Commissioners, and Beverly Martel, chairman of the Bethel Township Board of Supervisors.

The crayon maker initially announced its decision to close the distribution center in March but did not set a timeline other than to say the Bethel Township building would be closed sometime in 2013.

Crayola will move its distribution to the Majestic Bethlehem Center, making it the first tenant in a $40 million, 800,000-square-foot property on former Bethlehem Steel property at Interstate 78 and Route 412 on the Lower Saucon Township/Bethlehem line. Two other Crayola distribution centers in the Lehigh Valley will be closed.

"It will allow us to optimize our logistics and warehouse operations under one roof, expand operations near our domestic manufacturing and office operations, and improve our product line," Mike Perry, Crayola chief executive officer and president, said in a statement in March.

Neither Crayola nor Genco responded to requests for comment Tuesday.

Genco has more than 10,000 employees and operates 130 facilities in the United States, Canada and Mexico, with more than $1.5 billion in annual sales, according to its website.

According to Central Penn Business Journal, Genco spent about $5 million in 2006 to upgrade the warehouse with new technology, including robotics, radio frequency identification and hands-free voice technology to help workers process orders.; 272-5611, ext. 152 ___ (c)2012 the Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, Pa.) Visit the Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, Pa.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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