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JLG lays off 210 in Fulton, 115 in Franklin

May 28, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. -- Two-hundred-and-ten production employees at JLG in Fulton County received notice last Friday that they will be losing their jobs.

Another 115 people in the Shippensburg, Pa., plant received a similar notice, a corporate spokeswoman said.

The effective date for Shippensburg is July 28, while the McConnellsburg's employees' last days either will be June 5 or 26, said Ann Stawski, spokeswoman for Oshkosh Corp., JLG's Wisconsin-based parent company.

"It's really because of the economy and the continued downturn in residential and commercial construction," Stawski said.

Fewer than one-third of affected employees in McConnellsburg are involved with the military production program. Those people are eligible to be recalled for jobs in August and September thanks to a $33.7 million manufacturing order from the U.S. Army, Stawski said.

The other layoffs are considered permanent.

Announcements in Shippensburg and McConnellsburg were tied in to 466 production layoffs across North America, Stawski said.

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Stawski said the corporation is waiting and hoping for the "perfect storm" -- an uptick in residential and commercial construction demand, greater global financial stability and more opportunities for customers to obtain bank credit for purchases.

"Unfortunately, we can't predict what the future will hold," Stawski said, saying employees are going after every sales opportunity available.

JLG produces mobile aerial work platforms and telehandlers. When Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell visited the plant in January 2006, about 2,200 people were employed there.

Layoffs of more than 1,000 people at the plant, which is the biggest employer in Fulton County, have contributed heartily to the county's dismal unemployment rate. That rate stood at 14.8 percent in March, the latest month for which data is available.

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