21 jobs cut at Coventry’s Neptune-Benson

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COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — The new owner of local manufacturer Neptune-Benson is moving jobs out of state three years after acquiring the company.

Evoqua Water Technologies, which bought Neptune-Benson in 2016, is eliminating 21 supply chain and manufacturing jobs at its Coventry facility and moving the work to plants in Connecticut and Michigan, according to Lisa Marchewka, a vice president at Evoqua.

In an email, Marchewka told WPRI 12 the change would “better align our organization’s operations and maximize value for our customers.” She said the Coventry office “will continue to employ more than 30 people to provide valuable front-end and engineering services for our products.”

Neptune-Benson was founded in 1956 as a pool company but eventually shifted to make water filtration and disinfection products. Second-generation owner Barry Gertz sold a stake in the company to private-equity firm Audax Group in 2011, and Audax sold the business to Pittsburgh-based Evoqua five years later.

A spokesperson for the R.I. Department of Labor and Training said the agency had reached out to offer assistance to the workers losing their jobs after learning about the move from WPRI 12.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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