Economists expect laid off Manitowoc workers will have job opportunities

MANITOWOC – Manitowoc Company is moving some of its jobs to Mexico. That means 150 current employees at the food service company will be without a job.

Economists expect jobs will be available in Manitowoc County to help provide work the laid off workers.

Connie Loden leads the Economic Development Corporation of Manitowoc County.

“We never like to see jobs leave the area,” said Loden.

She expects laid off employees will be able to find new work quickly.

“A pretty sophisticated and disciplined workforce,” she said.

Jim Golembeski, the executive director of the Bay Area Workforce Development Board, says his organization will assist laid off workers.

“Soon as we figure out who they are and what their needs are. Some of them may need to go back to school to upgrade their skill level,” said Golembeski.

FOX 11 did a fact check of unemployment rates in Manitowoc County.

As of December, unemployment stands at 7.6 percent, which is more than a percent higher than the state average.

That rate for Manitowoc County is the lowest since November 2008. Unemployment in the county was as high as 13.5 percent in February 2010.

Jeff Sachse, an economist with the state Department of Workforce Development, doesn’t expect these layoffs will send the county back to levels of the recession.

“It’s a much more dynamic hiring environment,” said Sachse.

Loden believes the Manitowoc Company is dedicated to its other work in the community. The company recently invested $3.2 million into its facility.

“The commitment is still continued to have employment and keep manufacturing in this particular area,” said Loden.

The company started its work in Manitowoc in 1902.

If the laid off workers can prove they lost their job to workers outside the United States, the federal government may also offer help beyond regular unemployment benefits.

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