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A local high-tech plant will close its doors, leaving 160 employees without jobs. On Thursday, 3M announced it's closing the plant in Eau Claire. The company manufactures high-end substrates for IC packages.
Managers at 3M tell NewsCenter 13 that by September 30th of this year, the company will move out.
Plant Manager, John Reagan, says 3M's decision to close the Eau Claire facility was made because of weak sales.
Reagan says many of his employees understand that the electronics industry is a volatile one, and are taking the news well.
Current employee, Ronnie Phelps, has worked with the company for two years and says he thinks the closing will be a big loss to a lot of people in the area.
"I think it affects the family and the livelihood and yet, there's also a family here in Eau Claire as you work with people you get to know them personally and as well as working together," Phelps said.
Employee Cory Ward has been with the company for 10 years, and says Thursday's news was both surprising and disappointing.
"It's going to be, you know, tough the first couple days here everybody getting through it, and I think overall the people on the floor, everybody's been handling it really well," Ward said.
"Most people here are really dealing with it from a positive standpoint and everybody recognizes it's been a great place to work and 3M's been a great company and we just really appreciate the time that we had here. And now we move on," Plant Manager John Reagan said.
Reagan says "moving on" will mean workers have to look for new jobs. He says 3M is offering assistance to the dozens of affected employees, through severance packages and outplacement assistance.
Reagan says workers will also have the opportunity to apply for other jobs within the 3M company.
3M's last major layoff in Eau Claire came at the end of 2001, when the company cut a fourth of its workers.Reprinted with permission