There will be 200 fewer jobs in Neillsville starting in May. Today Fleetguard announced it will relocate it's small engine and recreational vehicle operations in Neillsville to other Fleetguard facilities in the US.
Starting in May the Nashville based company will lay off about 200 jobs at Neillsville's west plant. The east plant will not be closing.
Mayor Diane Murphy says it will have a negative effect on the entire city's economy but she and city administrators are staying on top of the situation.
Neillsville has a population of a little more than 2,700. One of its largest employers is closing part of its manufacturing facility.
Murphy says, “It's a blow to our community. It's a blow...I feel so bad for the employees but I want to keep this positive.”
City administrators have planned a meeting on the 27th to discuss the next steps.
“We have in mind anybody who's going to give us a look,” says Murphy, “I mean we're ready to go out there and work with them and see if we can bring them into Neillsville.”
A company spokesperson says those laid off will be offered severance packages and it will offer opportunities to relocate to other Fleetguard facilities in Wisconsin and across the country.
Despite the lay offs, Governor Jim Doyle says, people shouldn't feel discouraged...
“One of the things we do and will do in this case is move in rapidly. We do have funds available for retraining people for helping them in workforce development.”
Fleetguard has six facilities in Wisconsin including Bloomer, Viroqua, Black River Falls, and Arcadia. Though people will be offered jobs in facilities around the state, Mayor Murphy says people might not be willing to move because they have roots in Neillsville.