BYRON TWP. — A Grand Rapids-area packaging company has permanently laid off 60 employees amid reduced business.
Private equity-backed Praxis Packaging Solutions Co. on March 31 permanently laid off the employees at its 370,000-square-foot Byron Township headquarters located at 7650 Caterpillar Court, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act filing last week with state officials. The layoffs applied to packagers and line assistants who will not receive a severance, according to the WARN filing.
The layoffs are the result of “reduced business and work,” according to the filing, which indicates 900 total employees at the company. A company spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.
State officials have since removed the WARN filing, which was initially submitted by West Michigan Works!, because the “layoff event does not meet the criteria required for a submission of a WARN,” a state official wrote to a Praxis executive on April 11. However, the company does not dispute the number and nature of the layoffs.
Founded in 1989, Praxis specializes in primary packaging and secondary finished goods packaging for the pharmaceutical, consumer goods, food and nutritional industries.
In 2022, Praxis became a portfolio company of Chicago-based private equity firm BPOC. Praxis is a former portfolio company of Huizenga Group, a private investment firm in Grand Rapids that acquired Praxis in 2008.
Huizenga Group retained a minority ownership interest in Praxis, according to a news release at the time of the BPOC investment.
Praxis is headquartered in Byron Township and operates an additional production facility near Columbus, Ohio. The company also operates a facility in Randolph, N.J. through its subsidiary, Unette.
The company’s acquisition of Unette Corp. in 2017 allowed Praxis to diversify from its pharmaceutical customer base and expand services to include liquid, cream and paste products, MiBiz reported at the time.
The company’s recent layoff announcement comes after Praxis invested in packaging technology at the end of 2022. The company purchased a TF2 Blister Pack Machine to help accelerate timelines for customers.
The TF2 Blister Pack Machine has applications for solid-dose, liquids, powders, capsules, tablets, gelcaps, geltabs, softgels, hard gels, lozenges, chewables, medical devices, syringes and other consumer products.
“This substantial investment affirms Praxis Packaging’s commitment to our customers to continually provide the solutions they need to outpace their competition and succeed,” Praxis Senior Vice President Scott Hanmer said in a news release at the time.
The TF2 became available for jobs in the first quarter of this year, according to the release.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with additional information about the WARN filing.