Larson Manufacturing, located in Clear Lake, made the announcement on Tuesday, Nov. 8, that they will be consolidating Clear Lake’s plant into the Lake Mills operation. Due to the consolidation, 68 employees at the Clear Lake facility will lose their jobs.
Product lines and the majority of the employee base from the Clear Lake site will be integrated into the Lake Mills facility. Ninety employees will retain their jobs and move to
the Lake Mills plant, which according to a press release is a much newer facility that features state-of-the-art technology and more manufacturing capacity.
“This was a tough decision for us because of the impact to our employees, but one that we know is needed to strengthen our company for the future,” said Jeff Rief, president and CEO of Larson Manufacturing. “We operate in a highly competitive environment and must continually improve our manufacturing effectiveness to ensure we bring the best value to the marketplace.”
Larson leadership is working closely with employees to ensure a smooth transition, the release stated.
According to Clear Lake Mayor Nelson Crabb, the city and the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corp. is also working on the issue.
“This is highly unfortunate for our community, but it is a business decision and has nothing to do with the location of the company,” said Crabb. “We are working with the North Iowa Corridor and will work as quickly as possible to fill the location site.”
According to Brent Willett, executive director for the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation, Larson’s has been very cooperative in sharing building information so that new tenants can be found.
“We have had one inquiry already” said Willett. “The facility itself is a desirable property for size, location, parking and other amenities. Our goal, of course, is to not only put the building into use, but bring jobs and capital to Clear Lake.”
Larson Manufacturing, who also has plants located in Brookings, S.D., and Mocksville, N.C., will be consolidating from four manufacturing plants down to three, which will reduce the Iowa workforce by 68 people through voluntary resignation offers, relocations and some layoffs. As part of its operational play, the press release said that Larson Manufacturing expects to add 50 employees to the remaining sites to maintain its current production levels.
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