Hutchinson Technology Inc. in Eau Claire to layoff 237 employees
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A Minnesota-based manufacturing company says it’s going to substantially reduce the number of people working at its plant in Eau Claire. That announcement has since been finalized with the state’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD).
Hutchinson Technology (HTI) has had a facility on Eau Claire’s northwest side for many years. Now the company says it plans to reduce the number of people it employs by more than half.
HTI’s plant on Alpine road currently has 425 employees. On May 5 the company said it plans to start permanently laying off 237 of them.
“We’ve talked with senior management in the company off and on over the years, and they have a fairly narrow line of products that they make,” said Aaron White, the Economic Development Manager for the City of Eau Claire. “The components they make are very specific for very specific companies, so their fortunes are tied more to the ebb and flow of the very specific customers they serve.”
HTI filed a warn notice with the DWD making its decision to downsize official. With that move, groups across the state are set to help connect those impacted by the layoffs with new opportunities.
“A warn notice triggers a rapid response team which is workforce professionals from the state level and the local and regional areas to start bringing in resources and connecting with the employees affected by the layoff,” White said. “They’ll help them get signed up for state programming whether its unemployment, making sure they understand what benefits are available to them and how to sign up for those.”
White said the could also mean helping them find currently available jobs in the area or connecting them with training dollars to develop a new skillset.
In addition to the state, White said the city is prepared to help in anyway it can.
“We’ll also be looking at the other companies that we work with to see if there’s a way we can better connect the employers who are looking for production positions connect them with the folks that are being laid off,” White said.
For those impacted, White said the rapid response team will provide them with direct resources.
We reached out to HTI for comment and for more information about its layoff plan. We did not hear back.
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