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JLG begins layoffs at McConnellsburg facility

August 01, 2008|By DON AINES

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. -- JLG Industries began layoffs Thursday at its McConnellsburg facility and other sites that will reduce its worldwide employment by about 13 percent over the next two months, according to a company official.

Kirsten Skyba, vice president for global marketing, would not say how many workers were being laid off Thursday at the McConnellsburg plant, but said about 600 of the company's 4,500 employees worldwide would be affected by job cuts between now and the end of September.

JLG is the largest employer in Fulton County, and had as many as 2,200 employees in recent years.

The cuts will affect both salaried and production workers, Skyba said. In North America, JLG employs more than 3,500 people with facilities in Fulton and Bedford counties in Pennsylvania and Oaks, N.D., and offices in Hagerstown, she said.

The manufacturer of aerial work platforms and telehandlers also has production facilities in France and Belgium, Skyba said. JLG is owned by Oshkosh Corp.

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The company has taken other measures to deal with the slowing worldwide demand for construction rental equipment, Skyba said. That has including temporary shutdowns of some production lines.

"We are managing our staffing through some temporary shutdowns of some lines, not the plant as a whole," Skyba said. "Perhaps a week at a time to match our delivery requirements."

Skyba said earlier this month that layoffs were planned because of slackening demand. One employee said the reduction would be 250 or more at the McConnellsburg facility.

When JLG announced two weeks ago that layoffs were pending, L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp., said it could have a ripple effect for component suppliers in that county.

Wendy Melius, executive director of the Fulton County Industrial Development Association, said in July her office had been informed of the impending layoffs by JLG. A Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Rapid Response Coordination Services Team also would be working with affected employees for job search and training services, she said.

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