The operators of the Coca-Cola facility in Needham announced plans to cease manufacturing operations at the site and covert the facility into a warehouse.
The change in use could result in approximately 146 local layoffs, although the company says it will work to retain interested associates in other roles. Beverage production is expected to stop by the end of this year but the company plans to retain ownership of the property, located on B Street in the heart of the Needham Crossing section of the N-Squared Innovation District.
"Coca-Cola is proud to be a local business partner for over 40 years, and we remain committed to being a responsible and engaged member of the community," Nick Martin, director of public affairs & communications for Coca-Cola of Northern New England said in a statement. "We are committed to supporting all of [our] associates and to treating them with the utmost respect and dignity throughout this challenging transition."
The facility will be renovated to create room for deployment and maintenance of vending machines and other sales equipment warehousing, replacing an operation currently taking place in a leased property in Waltham.
"We are fully committed to maintaining the entire footprint of the Needham facility by reconfiguring the current space," Martin wrote. "These decisions were not made lightly, and we regret that the necessary changes will result in job impacts for associates currently working in production in Needham."
Coca-Cola of Northern New England is a long-time member of the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber.
Here's the text of the announcement from Coca-Cola sent to the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber on Oct. 26
I am writing to make you and the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce aware of recently announced changes to Coca-Cola of Northern New England’s (CCNNE) operations in Needham. Coca-Cola is proud to be a local business partner for over 40 years, and we remain committed to being a responsible and engaged member of the community.
We recently conducted an extensive analysis of our sales and manufacturing facilities to ensure we are optimizing our network of facilities for future growth, and so we can continue to exceed the expectations of our customers, consumers and the communities where we operate. Through that analysis we identified opportunities to invest approximately $70 million in our sales and manufacturing capabilities to address strategic challenges in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire.
As part of this plan, we have made the difficult decision to stop producing beverages at our Needham facility by the end of this year. When production ends, the space will be renovated to create room for additional warehousing and our Make Ready Center (MRC), a facility currently located in Waltham that handles deployment and maintenance of vending machines and other sales equipment. Moving the MRC from a leased building in Waltham in 2019 will allow us to better serve sales, distribution and our customers.
Multiple factors, including Needham’s warehouse space constraints, its proximity to our other production centers in East Hartford, CT and Londonderry, NH, the impending expiration of the MRC’s lease in Waltham, and similar considerations all informed our decision-making. Despite the impact on production, we are fully committed to maintaining the entire footprint of the Needham facility by reconfiguring the current space.
These decisions were not made lightly, and we regret that the necessary changes will result in job impacts for associates currently working in production in Needham. The restructuring could result in approximately 146 layoffs, though we hope the final number is lower than that, as we will work to retain as many interested production associates as possible in other roles. We are committed to supporting all of these associates and to treating them with the utmost respect and dignity throughout this challenging transition. We will be working with Local #513 of the Beverage and Vending Workers Union of the New England Joint Board, AFL-CIO of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union on next steps for our union associates.
Director of Public Affairs & Communications