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Aberdeen Company Lays Off 92 Workers

September 12, 2012, 10:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Aberdeen Company Lays Off 92 Workers
ABERDEEN, SD -

An Aberdeen company that was fighting for workers earlier this year laid off 92 of them Wednesday.

A Molded Fiberglass official said the company is negotiating a renewed contract agreement with customer General Electric. And a letter laid off employees received sited shrinking wind turbine demand.

"They announced that they were having layoffs and all our hearts kind of sunk," Matthew Krawiec said.

"I thought maybe I'd be safe because I'd been there for two years and then I was the first one called in my group so I was pretty shocked about that," David Lout said.

In a letter from the company, Krawiec learned he’d receive a check for remaining paid vacation, time off and profit sharing benefits earned. He also has the option to continue purchasing health insurance through the company for a few months.

Still, it's hard for Jason Silvernagel who moved from Watertown when his employer announced it was cutting back.

"I quit there before they did their layoffs and moved here to Aberdeen and got hired at Wells Fargo Auto Finance. And then they announced that they were doing layoffs in December, or they were doing layoffs in March. So then I quit in January to go to MFG to avoid another layoff and then I got laid off today [Wednesday]," Silvernagel said.

Dan Thielsen with the department of labor says the Aberdeen area has nearly 1,300 listed openings ranging from part to full time and requiring a variety of skills.

"If they don't have a skill set here we could possibly retrain them into another skill set of other jobs too," Thielsen said.

Jessica Voegel hopes to land a job fast.

"Yeah I'm going to have to. I mean, I have two kids to support. Diapers aren't cheap you know," Voegel said.

Just like life in general which is motivation enough for Krawiec. He'd already called a few potential employers within five hours of being laid off.

Julie Johnson of Absolutely! Aberdeen said there's continued growth in jobs from other companies in the area. She's optimistic that growth will be enough to absorb the layoffs locally.

Community leaders are pointing fingers at Congress for the drop in demand. It hasn't extended a federal tax credit involving wind energy that's set to expire at the end of the year.

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