Morrisburg employer Beavers Dental to close in 2023

MORRISBURG – A 75-year old manufacturing facility rooted in Morrisburg will close by early 2023. The KavoKerr dental plant, locally known as Beavers Dental, notified employees of layoffs on January 25.

“In the wake of the challenges of 2020, our company redoubled its efforts to reduce complexity and consolidate operations,” said Envista Director of Communications Melissa Morrison in response to questions from The Leader. “As part of this undertaking, the Morrisburg facility will transfer activities to other company locations and be decommissioned in early 2023.”

Several employees spoke to The Leader about the layoff notifications they received on the condition that their identities would be protected out of fear of reprisal or of jeopardizing compensation packages.

There are at least three rounds of layoffs scheduled including at least one department where employees were immediately laid off last week. Another round of layoffs will happen in August, and one when the facility closes in early 2023. Morrison did not confirm details of the number of rounds of layoffs or a set schedule as the facility winds down production.

Some employees have been offered a bonus to stay with the company long enough to train their replacements from another manufacturing plant. Envista officials did not confirm where production will be relocated to, nor what will happen to retiree and long-term disability benefits. The Beavers Dental facility is not unionized. There are approximately 175 employees working at the facility.

Local Envista officials were unavailable to comment on the facility closure, which has manufactured dental burrs in Morrisburg since 1947.

“The decision in no way reflects the performance of the Morrisburg site which has been exemplary over its 75 year history,” said Morrison.

South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds said the news of the closure has hit hard in South Dundas, “especially for those directly affected who themselves or their family members work there.”

“Industrial, well-paying jobs are an important part of the municipality’s economy,” says Mayor Steven Byvelds. “We will not let those affected go it alone and are working to support them through various resources.”

South Dundas’ Economic Development Officer Rob Hunter said losing one of the municipality’s industrial employers is tough.

“The Economic Development Office has already started to find ways to help the employees and will continue to do so,” said Hunter “And as always, we maintain our efforts to secure new businesses and support the current businesses in our community. We will continue to grow and build for the future of South Dundas.”

Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell reacted to the news of the closure saying, “its disheartening when you see any plant close and the impact on the families.”

He said he has reached out to the Ministry of Labour to ensure the company is following all the required procedures when there is a plant closure and subsequent layoffs.

“We have a team of people that will go in there and tell employees what programs are available for training. [The province] has many programs to help with school and retraining.”

The facility has changed hands a number of times in the past 15 years. In 2006, Beavers Dental parent company Kerr was bought by the Danaher Corporation. Beavers was a part of Kerr’s Sybron Dental product division. Kerr was merged with the company’s Kavo division in 2016. Danaher spun off the KavoKerr dental properties in 2019 as Envista Holdings Corporation in a $677M US Initial Public Offering.

The Brea, California company’s share price was up over one dollar from when the January 25 layoff notices were issued. Envista was trading on the New York Stock Exchange January 31 at $42.52 US per share.

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