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Viracon cuts 15 percent of its Owatonna work force

Post Time:Nov 12,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:91

Viracon, Owatonna, Minn.,communicated to its employees this week a reduction of approximately 250 positions at the company’s Owatonna facility, according to a Jan. 8 company release. This accounts for 15 percent of the Owatonna work force. This announcement comes after the company informed employees at meetings in December that workforce adjustments would be necessary in responses to the changing economic environment.

In meetings held mid-December the Viracon executive management team discussed the business outlook for 2009, according to the release. “Viracon is facing its most challenging economic times in company history,” said Russ Huffer, Apogee president and CEO, Viracon's parent company, via a company video. Viracon executives echoed the sentiment.

“We’ve seen numerous architectural projects canceled or placed on hold as a result of the credit crisis in our nation,” said Christine Shaffer, Viracon marketing manager, in the release. “These cancellations directly affect our business. The continuing economic downturn has translated into a very difficult decision for Viracon.”

“Every effort was made to avoid a workforce reduction, including idling our three plants for brief periods of time,” said Jim Wendorff, vice president of human resources, in the release. “It became clear very recently that the rapidly deteriorating market conditions unfortunately required us to take further action.”

To help those employees, Viracon hosted on-site representatives from the Work Force Development Centers to aid in facilitating filing for unemployment benefits. Workers will also receive severance pay based on the length of their employment, according to the release.

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