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Vera Bradley to eliminate 150-worker 2nd shift at New Haven plant

August 13th, 2014

News Coverage:

Vera Bradley to eliminate 150-worker 2nd shift at New Haven plant

By Bob Caylor of The News-Sentinel

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 12:01 am

Vera Bradley plans to cut manufacturing capacity by about 25 percent at its Adams Road plant in New Haven by Nov. 1. The company is offering buy-outs -- as well as possible transfers to other facilities -- as part of eliminating the 150-worker second shift at the plant, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

“By Nov. 1, we will eliminate our second shift and move to just one daytime shift. There are currently approximately 360 full-time associates in our Adams Center Road facility, with approximately 150 of those working on the second shift,” wrote Melissa Schenkel, Vera Bradley’s public-relations manager, in an email. “We believe that some second-shift associates might be able to move to first-shift open positions and that others may be able to transfer to our Stonebridge distribution facility in Roanoke. We are also offering a generous separation package to a group of associates who elect to voluntarily leave Vera Bradley.”

Schenkel did not disclose the terms of the separation packages. The company does not know how many of its workers are interested in accepting the buy-out and leaving voluntarily.

She said the company currently makes about 7 percent of its products at its Adams Center Road facility. “We certainly take great pride in being able to produce a portion of our inventory in the U.S., and our Fort Wayne facility provides us with a great deal of flexibility when we are ‘chasing’ business and need a quick turn-around,” she wrote in the email.

Despite some process improvements, manufacturing in the United States still costs “substantially” more than in foreign countries, she said.

Vera Bradley employs about 1,000 people in Indiana. Four of its facilities are in northeast Indiana: Vera Bradley Design Center in Roanoke, Vera Bradley Distribution Center in Roanoke, Vera Bradley Offices in Fort Wayne and Vera Bradley Manufacturing Center in New Haven.

Categories LayoffsClosures