YORK, Pa. — Paper products maker P.H. Glatfelter is considering selling its specialty papers unit, which has plants in Pennsylvania and Ohio and employs about 1,800 people, the company said Tuesday.
The company, based in York, said it plans to focus on growing its engineered materials businesses, which produces such diverse items as feminine hygiene products, food packaging and air filters.
Glatfelter, which was founded during the Civil War, said its decision to review “strategic alternatives” for the specialty papers unit was not easy, “especially given the strong heritage of Specialty Papers and the long-standing relationships with our communities.”
The unit has plants in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania; Chillicothe, Ohio; and Fremont, Ohio. Last summer, Glatfelter eliminated about 120 positions across the unit. Eileen Beck, vice president of human resources, said there are just over 750 employees in Spring Grove, 1,000 in Chillicothe and 45 in Fremont.
All locations will continue operating as usual for now, the company said.
Four years ago, Pennsylvania announced $8 million in grants to help Glatfelter convert the Spring Grove mill’s boilers from coal to natural gas. Then-Gov. Tom Corbett said the conversation project “secures — for decades to come — good-paying jobs for the employees of Glatfelter, a major economic contributor in York County for 150 years.”
The Spring Grove plant manufactures products such as envelopes, book publishing papers, postage stamps, playing cards and greeting cards.
Andrew Shaffer, Spring Grove borough manager, told the York Daily Record he’s concerned about the news. However, “being up for sale doesn’t mean it’s closing,” he said.