Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Local News

Smith & Wesson to Relocate, Approximately 150 Employees Affected in Deep River

Smith & Wesson, the third-highest taxpayer in Deep River, announced in a Sept. 30 press release it is moving its headquarters from Springfield, Massachusetts and certain elements of its operations—including its plastic injection molding facility in Deep River—to Maryville, Tennessee in 2023.

According to the release, the company’s plastic injection molding facility in Deep River, which services both Smith & Wesson as well as a significant number of external customers, will be sold.

Approximately 150 employees in Deep River will be affected, according to a spokesperson from Smith & Wesson’s Investor Relations Department in an email.

Smith & Wesson is primarily a firearm manufacturer and designer with manufacturing services including forging, machining and precision plastic injection molding services. It operates a four-story, approximately 150,000 square feet manufacturing facility at 12 Bridge Street in Deep River.

The company purchased the business at this location, TriTown Plastics, in May 2014, according to the company spokesperson. The building is leased from Scott Goodspeed of Goodspeed Leasing Company, LLC.

Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald said that he has spoken with Goodspeed about future plans for the building.

“They’re not leaving tomorrow,” said McDonald in a phone interview. “There are a couple of years in this process. So, it’s going to make it difficult for Scott to do anything because he’s got a couple of years before he can fill the space, but it does give us time to work together to try and find someone when that opportunity comes up.”

McDonald added, “It’s a great building. The improvements that have been made there over the years have just turned it into a beautiful space for someone to come in.”

On Sept. 30, Smith & Wesson said the changes are necessary as certain legislation has recently been proposed in Massachusetts that would prohibit the company from manufacturing assault weapons in the state.

Smith & Wesson President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith said “these products made up over 60 percent of our revenue last year, and the unfortunate likelihood that such restrictions would be raised again led to a review of the best path forward for Smith & Wesson.”

The company plans to build a new headquarters in Maryville, Tennessee that will also include plastic injection molding and pistol and long gun assembly and distribution. The facility in Springfield, Massachusetts, which has been the company’s headquarters since 1852, will remain operational, but reconfigured.

According to the company’s press release, key factors in the decision include Tennessee’s perceived support for the 2nd Amendment and “business-friendly environment, quality of life, cost of living and affordability, availability of qualified labor, access to higher education institutions, and a favorable location for efficient distribution.”

The company estimates that about 750 jobs will move from Springfield, Massachusetts, Deep River, and Columbia, Missouri to Maryville, Tennessee.

All affected employees will be provided with financial and relocation assistance.

Elizabeth Reinhart covers news for Chester, Deep River, and Essex for Zip06. Email Elizabeth at e.reinhart@shorepublishing.com.

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