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Cardinal Glass will cut almost 30 jobs

Post Time:Jul 09,2009Classify:Company NewsView:426

A new product at the Cardinal Glass Northfield plant means production employees will have to reapply for their jobs to avoid 27 layoffs. 
NORTHFIELD — More than two dozen employees will be laid off from a local manufacturing plant this summer, a Cardinal Glass official said Tuesday afternoon.

Most of the Northfield plant’s 90-some production employees will have to reapply and interview to keep their jobs, plant manager Dwight Kalousek said, but an estimated 27 won’t make the cut.

As many as five employees would be laid off in July, he said. The remaining layoffs would follow in September and October.

The plant, which until now made energy-efficient window coatings, will retool to make coatings for the renewable energy industry. Kalousek would not elaborate on the new business or the privately held company’s finances, but said the new product would require less manpower.

“The manual glass handling that’s required for tempered doors and things like that are not going to be required for this new product,” he said.

Non-production employees will not be required to reapply for their jobs, he said, though Kalousek forecasted “some movement in management to be figured out at a later date.”

A company statement expected to be released as soon as Wednesday blames the reduction on the “current economic downturn” and puts the “prospect of recovery ... several years away.”

The statement also reads, in part: “At Cardinal, our workforce is our most valuable asset. It is unfortunate that a reduction must take place, but it will strengthen the plant and prepare us for the future. Cardinal remains committed to Northfield and the surrounding community.”

Cardinal Glass, headquartered in Eden Prairie, has been in Northfield since 1988. The company is a fully integrated supplier of coated glass to the window and door industry.

The news comes as Northfield’s unemployment rate decreased for the second month in a row, dropping nearly two points to 5.7 percent in May, the most recent month for which data is available from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Unemployment remains high in Rice County and Faribault, with respective jobless rates of 8.2 and 10 percent.

Statewide, manufacturing has been the hardest-hit industry, with 34,800 employees losing their jobs this year through May.

Source: http://www.northfieldnews.comAuthor: shangyi

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