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Disston layoffs likely

SOUTH DEERFIELD — The Franklin Hampshire Career Center is investigating a reported layoff at the Disston Co. tool factory in South Deerfield.

On Friday afternoon, Michael Truckey, director of the Franklin Hampshire Career Center, said his staff received a tip from its public information system.

In response, the career center notified its rapid response team, which contacted Disston to provide displaced workers with employment and training services. He said the response team out of Northampton would set up a meeting next week.

A supervisor at Disston, who did not want to give his name, said Friday he has information on layoffs, but won’t disclose it.

Based in the Deerfield Industrial Park, Disston manufactures hole saws, saw blades, drill bits and other hand-tool accessories for national buyers like The Home Depot, Sears and Ace Hardware.

The number of outgoing employees is unknown.

The company has steadily decreased its labor force over the years.

In 2009, the manufacturer laid off 72 workers due to the decline in home contracting and house-building market at the time. It cut another 47 employees in 2008.

The Deerfield factory has changed hands several times. Previous owners include the Rule Cutting Tool Co. and the South Deerfield Industries Inc. Its lineage goes back to the Millers Falls Co. tool makers of Greenfield, which moved to Deerfield after it was bought out by the Ingersoll-Rand Corp. about 1980.

The Deerfield factory is one of two Disston factories. The other is in China.

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