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Solo bumps local closure to March

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Despite previously announced plans to close the Springfield Solo Cup plant in June, the closing process is moving quicker than expected, with local operations now likely to wind down in March, according to a company official.

Solo Cup Director of Communications Angie Gorman said plant closings are done in phases, with some departments closing sooner than others.

"It's a process," she said. "The work is going a little bit more quickly than we originally had expected."

The company announced on June 8 it would close the plant - which was built in the early 1950s - in mid-to-late 2011, cutting 340 full-time manufacturing jobs in the process.

In August, the company agreed to sell the facility to Warren Davis Properties for $7.9 million, a move that was expected to close in 45 to 60 days pending a due diligence investigation.

Gorman said she was unsure if the deal has been finalized but that it will likely have closed by March.

In separate company news, Solo Cup created approximately 70 new jobs at its Augusta, Ga., facility. It has so far filled 40 of them and will complete the rest of the appointments by the end of the year, Gorman said.

With some departments in the Springfield facility closing sooner than others, workers at the plant theoretically could have or will apply at the Georgia facility, but Gorman wouldn't comment on any specifics.

"All of the people in Springfield are welcome to apply for any Solo positions available in the country," she said, adding that current and former employees receive priority over people that have never been employed by the company.

For now, it looks as if Solo Cup is breaking ties with the Springfield community, as the $1.5 billion company currently does not have any plans to re-open any kind of operations in the city, Gorman said.
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