The car part producer says changes on the production line and a slowing auto industry, leave it with no choice but to cut people. It's never easy, but some say there's hope for these workers. Some don't even know if they're in or out yet. They'll find out next week. But one county organization says it's optimistic new jobs will be on the way soon.
In January, ThyssenKrupp's machining division laid off 65 workers. And on Friday, the crankshaft division made the exact same announcement. "We regret having to take the action we took today or anytime we lose employees," says Jeff Baker, Labor Relations. "At the other plant, we've begun a process of calling back employees and we're hopeful that will continue as the automotive market continues to evolve," says Baker.
But that may be tough. ThyssenKrupp says it's a challenge to remain competitive in a global market. "We are constantly looking for ways to not only try to build a better product, but do so at a lower cost, and at same time maintain a quality workforce," says Baker.
And in this case that means layoffs. Something tough for employees to swallow. But the president of Vermilion Advantage, Vicki Haugen, says there is hope. "We know where the opportunities are. We know that there's growth opportunities that can absorb the talents that are going to be let go," says Haugen.
Haugen says a recent survey shows the county will have about 24-hundred jobs open up in the next two years. One-thousand of which don't exist today. For example, there will be about 300 new and replacement jobs for tractor drivers; about 250 for machine operators; and more than 100 for nurses. They're just numbers, but they give hope to these workers...and to ThyssenKrupp.
There's another hurdle for the company. The headquarters is consolidating one of the Danville plants with one in Ohio. It's deciding which one to keep open and if it chooses Ohio, the Danville plant will close, meaning more lost jobs. Thyssen says Friday's cuts are unrelated to that consolidation. Workers are keeping their fingers crossed, because if the Danville site is chosen, that means about 230 jobs. They'll find out later this month.