DALTON -- In response to a reduced paper demand from the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Crane is instituting a voluntary retirement incentive for 8 percent of the 340 Berkshire County employees in its currency paper division.
Based on those numbers, 27 employees would be eligible to participate in the program. One of Berkshire County's largest employers, Crane employs some 1,330 workers worldwide.
Crane said the action is being taken to reduce costs across the company's currency operations. The goal is to reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs.
"We are pleased to provide this incentive in lieu of forced layoffs and hope that this program will meet its target participation," said Crane's CEO Stephen P. DeFalco on Friday in a statement.
Crane has been supplying currency paper to the U.S. Government since 1879, and has been its sole supplier since 1964. According to the company, the majority of the employees in Crane's currency division are located in Berkshire County, while the others work at a company facility in Sweden. The Swedish employees are not included in the retirement incentive program.
The program is expected to go into effect within two to three weeks in order to give those affected time to consider the initiative. It is a multifaceted program with limitations, and is based on employees' ages.
The targeted retirement incentive does not affect Crane's other operations in Western Massachusetts, which includes the technical materials division based in Pittsfield, and the stationery division based in North Adams.
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