Bankruptcy & Unemployment: Layoffs in the Midwest Region
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West North Central Division (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota)

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Kansas Layoffs

The Kansas Department of Corrections is warning there may be as many as 66 people laid off if they can't figure out their budget.

The Hutch News reports that the prisons will likely not be affected by the cuts; however, the parole services and main officers will likely feel the punch.

The department is looking for ways to avoid the lay offs, such as reduced retirement plans or resignations. If there are lay offs, employees will be notified by March 18.

Mass Layoffs Updates for June 22, 2009

As early as February of this year, Medtronic announced there would be layoffs amongst its staff. The Fridley-based company employs over 38,000 globally, with 8,000 located in Minnesota alone. Expected are at least 400-600 layoffs in Minnesota and at least 2,000 globally. According Medtronic, the cuts are necessary to streamline operations and downsize areas of the company that aren’t meeting expectations. The Medtronic layoffs follow suit with an increasing number of layoffs in the Twin Cities.

Mass Layoffs Updates for April 6, 2009

The St. Louis Business Journal reported advertising agency Rodgers Townsend has laid off 13 employees. The agency has not lost any clients, but has found that its clients are spending less. Rodgers Townsend now has approximately 90 employees.

The Kansas City, Kansas School Board has cut 36 central office jobs in preparation for budget cuts next year. Twenty-six workers will be laid off, while others will be asked to work fewer hours and take pay cuts. The Kansas City Star reported that a second round of layoffs eliminate 50 more jobs.

Acciona, a wind turbine assembly plant in West Branch, Iowa, has announced plans to lay off 58 workers. The company says the poor economy makes the layoffs necessary, despite tax credits extended to the wind power industry, according to The Associated Press.

Mass Layoffs Updates for March 18, 2009

Cessna Aircraft Co. reportedly notified employees by e-mail on Jan. 12 that the company will lay off approximately 2,000 workers.

The Wichita Business Journal reported Vice President Jim Walters wrote in the e-mail that the layoffs would affect all pay categories and that Cessna will offer a voluntary layoff program for all employees. The workers affected in the layoff will begin receiving 60-day notices within a few weeks and will be laid off in March. Cessna laid off 500 workers in December.

Mass Layoffs Updates for November 14, 2008

Two hundred Enterprise Rent-A-Car employees in Clayton, Missouri will fall victim to the economic recession as they are laid off in the company's first mass layoff in its 51-year history. AHN reported that the layoffs will represent approximately 5 percent of the company's local workforce. Enterprise officials say that they will also cut 700 jobs worldwide within the next few weeks through more layoffs or attrition. Most of the layoffs in Clayton were employees in administrative positions or information technology operations. Enterprise has 75,000 employees worldwide and also operates facilities under the brand names Alamo and National.

Mass Layoffs Updates for October 24, 2008

Whirlpool will lay off 440 of the 2,000 workers at its plant in Amana, Iowa during October. The plant produces bottom freezer refrigerators sold under Whirlpool, Amana, Maytag and other brand names. The layoffs are a product of Whirlpool's acquisition of Maytag in 2006, according to the East Iowa Herald. However, there is speculation that the global credit crisis is also a factor. An Associated Press report indicated that Whirlpool hired 120 workers just five months ago and that total hiring for this year is estimated at 300.

Mass Layoffs Updates for August 29, 2008

Citigroup Inc. will close its home mortgage division in Des Moines, Iowa and lay off 190 workers, according to the Des Moines Register. The company plans to close CitiMortgage, which services mostly wholesale mortgages, by the end of November. The layoffs are part of a restructuring effort that will eventually radiate throughout the company and affect 276 positions. Forty-four of the laid-off employees will reportedly be offered the opportunity to work from home or transfer within the company. The remaining 146 laid-off workers will be offered counseling, outplacement services and severance packages.

Mass Layoffs Updates for July 3, 2008

Chrysler LLC has announced plans to close a plant near St. Louis, Missouri that makes minivans and pickup trucks and cut a shift at another St. Louis plant that makes full-size pickup trucks. The St. Louis South plant will be closed as of October 31 and the St. Louis North plant will go from two shifts down to one on September 2, according to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. When the St. Louis South plant closes 1,500 workers will be laid off and 900 workers will be laid off at the St. Louis South plant.

Mass Layoffs Updates for May 9, 2008

Regency Homes of West Des Moines, Iowa has laid off all of its employees except for top management in its homebuilding and land development companies. Overall, 103 employees were affected in the layoff, according to the Associated Press. Regency laid off 26 workers in January due to the housing industry slump and a decline in home sales.

Mass Layoffs Updates for April 18, 2008

About 200 people in Emporia, Kansas, including some of the 1,700 workers who were laid off from the Tyson Foods Plant in Emporia, held a vigil on April 4 in front of the plant. The Center for a New Justice helped the group of laid off workers and community activists organize the event. According to The Wichita Eagle, a group of people from Emporia have come together to form a group called Displaced Tyson Workers Fighting for Justice that plans to request that Tyson provide money or other assistance to the laid off workers.

Mass Layoffs Updates for April 10, 2008

Willow Brooks Food Inc. has been acquired by Cargill Value added meats, the largest private meat producer in the United States. The acquisition will result in a combined 780 workers being laid off in two Willow Brooks plants in Springfield, Missouri. Cargill will be adding new shifts at plants in Springdale and California, Missouri, and some of the workers will be offered relocation packages, according to a report by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Best Buy Company Inc. has laid off 53 workers at its headquarters in Richfield, Minnesota. The Business Journal reported that most of the workers who were laid off worked in the Best Buy for Business division. The company says that the layoffs were a result of changes in some sales models and a reduction of overlap.

CitiMortgage Inc. has announced plans to lay off 159 employees who work in its home equity loan group in O'Fallon, Missouri, according to a report by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The layoffs, which are attributed to the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, will happen immediately. CitiMortgage will reportedly encourage all of the workers who are laid off to apply for other job openings within the company.

Powermate Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection and has announced that it will close its plant in Kearney, Nebraska and lay off 200 workers. The power equipment manufacturer stated in its bankruptcy filing that it owes between $50 million and $100 million to creditors. The Associated Press reports that the company is seeking Chapter 11 protection.

Dura Automotive Systems Inc. will lay off 250 workers at its plant in Moberly, Missouri as part of a company wide restructuring plan. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the layoffs will affect both hourly and salaried employees. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2006, citing low profits and an increased amount of debt due to the country's deteriorating automotive industry. The company's restructuring plan also includes the closing of approximately 10 facilities in 16 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.

CertainTeed Corporation has laid off 140 workers from its fiberglass insulation plant in Kansas City, Kansas because of the stagnant housing market. The Kansas City Star reports that the company said that the downsizing was necessary because the company has an excess capacity for insulation products in a flat housing market. CertainTeed also has insulation plants in California, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Energizer Holdings Company in St. Louis, Missouri will lay off 170 workers as it reorganizes its personal-care division to include its recent acquisition of consumer products maker Playtex Products Inc., The Associated Press reports. The company estimates that after the reorganization, the personal-care division will make up 40 percent of its sales and profits. The company's personal-care division will include Schick razors as well as Playtex brands Playtex, Banana Boat, Hawaiian Tropic, Diaper Genie and Wet Ones.

The Associated Press State & Local Wire has reported that Citigroup Inc. will layoff 100 CitiMortgage employees in Des Moines, Iowa in order to reduce expenses and streamline operations. Approximately 100 mortgage servicing employees will be laid off in June. Citigroup has said that the cuts are part of a review that had been announced in April 2007. The company aims to cut $10.4 billion in costs from 2007 to 2009.

Salton Inc. plans to close its office in Columbia, Missouri and lay off 89 employees. The layoffs will begin in late January or in early February and continue through June. The company sells products under the brand names Breadman, Farberware, George Foreman and others. Salton purchased Toastmaster in January 1999 and then laid off 400 workers and moved the production to China.

The North Dakota Department of Job Services in Bismarck, North Dakota will lay off 17 employees by the end of January, 2008. The job cuts are a result of the loss of the majority of a long-term contract with the Department of Human Services.

First Horizon National Corp. has announced plans to close its national sales and servicing office in Overland Park, Kansas in December. The human resources director at First Horizon said the move will eliminate more than 90 jobs. The closing is part of the bank owner's attempt to improve profitability. First Horizon will continue to run home mortgage offices in the Kansas City area.

Subprime lender, NovaStar Financial Inc. of Kansas City, Missouri has announced that it has agreed to sell its mortgage servicing rights to Saxon Mortgage Services for $175 million in cash. The deal is expected to close on Nov. 1. In acquiring NovaStar's mortgage servicing rights, Saxon, a Fort Worth, Texas-based servicer of mortgage loans, will take over collection, customer service and other servicing activities. As a result, NovaStar said it will make "substantial reductions" in its workforce. As of last month, only 600 of the 2,000 people who were employed by NovaStar last year still have their jobs.

ESP Missouri plans to lay off 200 employees at the end of August. The company did not receive a contract renewal with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for coordinating and administrating the Gateway Clean Air Program. The automotive emissions testing program contract was awarded to SysTech International LLC in Murray, Utah.

A mass layoff of 75 employees will take place on September 16 at Commerce Bancshares Inc. In St. Louis, Missouri. Company officials explained the layoffs are necessary as they create a more efficient operating environment using technology.

Aggregate Industries recently announced the layoff of 35 workers as a result of the recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Aggregate is a barge and boat company that moves raw materials up and down the Mississippi river near the city. The shutting of the river route, closing of the 10th street Bridge and resulting traffic jams are all factors resulting in the slowing of commerce in operations as diverse as retailers and auto shops. The company laid off 35 of its 100 person workforce.

Commerce Bancshares Inc. and ESP Missouri Inc. each recently issued Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notices, laying off a combined 275 employees. The layoffs are being coordinated in an effort to create efficiencies in operations throughout the companies. ESP Missouri is a subsidiary of Environmental Systems Products Holdings Inc. of East Granby. Connecticut. Commerce is a Missouri based bank that provides financial services for businesses and individuals in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma and Colorado.

The Jackson County Executive recently announced the layoff of 100 jobs to help balance a $7 million budget shortfall to balance the budget. The county needs another $20 million in cash just to keep the county government functioning. The county currently employs over 1,800 people.

NuComm recently announced the layoff of 165 employees as it closes its Wichita call center. The Canadian based company plans to allow laid off employees with a "work at home" benefit to mitigate the repercussions of the mass layoff.

A furniture plant in Winterset, Iowa is expected to close at the end of this month resulting in a layoff of over 100 employees. WoodMarc, which manufactures bedroom furniture, announced the closure at the beginning of June. A spokesperson for the company said the plant has been losing money and is unable to compete with similar imported furniture companies. Displaced employees will receive assistance from the Iowa Workforce Development and the U.S. Department of Labor to find new jobs.

WestPoint Home's Finishing Plant in Opelika, Kansas will close down operations on August 31. Layoffs of 360 employees began this month and will be phased out completely by the end of August. Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller is committed to helping the laid off employees other jobs in the area. Overall, the WestPoint Home is transferring work of 1000 employees overseas to save money. The other plants affected are in Abbeville, Alabama and Marianna, Florida.

Union and political officials are requesting Parker-Hannifin keep its Sporian Division plant open in Mexico, Missouri. The company announced the closure would take place on August 1 and affect 153 employees. Union representatives from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers were at the meeting yesterday working on incentive and utility break proposals with company officials, the Eastlake Mayor, the Ohio Department of Development representative and other local leaders. It will take more analysis and meetings to determine whether the proposed economic package will be enough to keep the hose fittings and connectors plant open.

Optima Bus Corp. recently announced that it would close its operations and that approximately 220 layoffs are expected. Optima is one of Park City's largest employers and was only recently bought out by an Alabama-based company. At the time of the buyout, company officials said that they planned on bolstering the company's line of 30 and 35-foot buses as well as the American Heritage Streetcar. The layoffs will be permanent.

Hutchinson Technology, a disk drive part maker in Sioux Falls, recently announced the layoffs of 90 jobs in coordination with the company's massive downsizing effort. The company plans to lay off additional employees in its Plymouth, Minnesota and Eau Claire, Wisconsin locations, resulting in up to 500 total Midwestern layoffs.

Medtronic, Inc. recently announced its plans to lay off 350 to 500 workers within its cardiac rhythm disease management division. A Medtronic spokesman said that the company is trying to achieve the layoffs through voluntary measures and employees will be given the option to transfer to other areas of the company, early retirements or voluntary buyout packages. The spokesman added that the layoffs were being conducted due to a slowdown in the market for implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

H & R Block recently announced that it would lay off 615 employees from Option One Mortgage Corp., its struggling mortgage subsidiary. The layoffs are being conducted in response to a diminished loan business as Option One struggles with the meltdown of the sub-prime mortgage market. The Kansas City based company said it will record a $19 million pretax charge in 2008 to cover severance costs, terminating leases and other expenses due to Option One's restructuring.

Minneapolis' Star Tribune recently announced its plans to cut 145 employees through buyouts or layoffs. The layoffs will be made in response to a circulation decline and a fall in revenue. The layoffs represent approximately 7 percent of the company's 2,100 positions and include 50 positions out of 383 people in the news and editorial departments. The publisher announced that the Tribune's annual advertising and circulation revenue has fallen by $64 million during the past three years.

The Briggs and Stratton Plant in Rolla, MO recently announced the layoff of 500 employees by the end of the year. Sales for the lawn and garden equipment company have been down 10% since last year, which is the leading cause for the layoffs. The city soon plans to hold a job fair for the Briggs and Stratton employees.

Job cuts for DaimlerChrysler's St. Louis, Missouri plant will increase by 600 making a total of 1,900 layoffs expected at two plants in Fenton, Missouri. In January, the automaker had announced 1,300 jobs were slated for cuts. Spokesperson Michelle Tinson said the additional 600 jobs were actually part of the original layoff plan but were first disclosed privately to the unionized workers.

York Quality Caskets in Marshfield, Missouri will close its doors next week. The closing will result in 140 workers losing their jobs from the town, which has only 6,800 residents. York plans to move operations to other facilities, one of which is located in Mexico. Ironically, workers at the Marshfield plant actually trained the workers who are at the Mexico facility.

Payless ShoeSource Inc. plans to close its Topeka, Kansas distribution facility in 2008 once two new distribution centers are operational. The company anticipates terminating 450 to 550 jobs as a result of the closing.

A notice received by the Iowa Workforce Development Agency listed a mass layoff of 132 employees at the Clarion Technologies plastics plant in Ames, Iowa. Layoffs are scheduled to begin March 14 and be completed by March 28 as the plant is completely shut down. Clarion plants produce injection-molded plastic parts for automotive, home appliance and other consumer products. Officials have not made any public comments and it is not clear whether the Ames plant closing is related to the anticipated Electrolux production decrease in Webster City.

Business turned out better for Boeing this year and the originally announced mass layoff of 900 employees at its Wichita, Kansas plant is down to only 367 to date. Boeing officials say there may be more job cuts but did not specify how many or when the cuts would take place.

The Eaton Corporation, located in Belmond, Iowa just announced it will lay off 35% of its staff by the end of December. Approximately 175 employees of the largest employer in town just found out last week that they will start 2007 unemployed. The Eaton plant manufactures engine valves for heavy-duty trucks and expects a lower demand for the trucks in 2007.

Bobcat declared it will lay off 900 employees from its Gwinner, North Dakota Plant. The layoffs are temporary but do represent 90 percent of the workers at that plant. The company states the layoff will help to adjust its production output and should only last one week.

Coleman Powermate plant plans to lay off between 50 and 100 employees at its Kearney plant. The portable generators manufactured at the plant were in high demand last year, after the Gulf coast was devastated by hurricanes, but demand has dropped off considerably and the plant had cut back production to three days per week before announcing the layoffs.

500 Rubbermaid employees in Centerville, Iowa may face layoffs in September. Beginning on September 15, the plant will close its production side. The company further plans to eliminate it's distribution functions beginning in mid-October.

Regency Thermographers has announced plans to move its Dubuque, Iowa plant in January of 2007, laying off all 137 of its local employees.

Briggs & Stratton Corp. will lay off 146 workers at its Rolla, Missouri plant as of August 18, 2006.

Genesis Health System announced at the end of June that it would lay off about 100 employees, many from its Davenport, Iowa hospital and private duty nurse service.


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