77 workers losing jobs in Berlin

BERLIN – Nearly eighty workers will be out of a job in Berlin this summer.  Those employees of the Grede Foundry were told Friday they will be laid off July first.

“Grede is our second-largest employer in the community,” said Berlin’s community development director Evan Wendlandt, who found out about the Grede layoffs Friday afternoon.

“It is sad news.  We are a strong community though,’ said Wendlandt.

In total 77 workers will be laid off of those, 65 are hourly and 12 are salaried.  After the layoffs, Grede will still employ 136 people in Berlin.

Wendlandt told FOX 11 the city didn’t see this coming.

“For us, it was a surprise.  Talking to their pr firm, it was a market, a market reaction decision,” Wendlandt explained.

We spoke with Grede’s public relations representative over the phone.  He told us business from the Berlin Foundry has declined over the last few years.  However, he couldn’t say what the future holds for the foundry.

Wendlandt told us the next step for the city is to help those losing their jobs.

“We’re here for you.  There’s a lot of resources out there to help with workforce development and training and getting back in that workforce,” said Wendlandt.

We also spoke with some other Berlin business owners off-camera.  They told us they’re worried about the lay-offs, a lot of those people are customers and friends.

Grede has 14 foundries in the United States.  Four of those are located in Wisconsin.

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