Manitowoc Food Service to close Sellersburg, Ind., plant, move 84 jobs to Mexico

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  Manitowoc Food Service will close its Sellersburg, Ind., manufacturing plant, lay off 84 employees and shift the work its plants in Tijuana and Monterrey, Mexico, the company said Thursday.

The plant will close by early 2017, the food and beverage equipment maker based in New Port Richey, Fla., said in its quarterly earnings release.

The 84 job cuts will begin Oct. 11 and continue through Jan. 31, 2017, according to a federally required layoff notice Manitowoc filed with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development on Wednesday.

The company said the plant closure is a part of an effort to “right size” its manufacturing footprint.

On Thursday, Manitowoc reported a 9.6 percent drop in sales in the April-June quarter, compared to a year earlier.

“This journey to improve our margins to industry-competitive levels is a multi-year one and while we have made great progress to date, we are still early in the journey and it is critical to our long-term success to remain very disciplined in the ongoing execution of our Simplification and Right-Sizing initiatives,” Manitowoc President and CEO Hubertus Muehlhaeuser said in the earnings release.

Manitowoc officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

One Southern Indiana, the chamber of commerce and economic development group for the area, was surprised by the announcement. The organization is offering to help laid off workers find jobs and wants to locate a new business to use the space.

“It’s good space. It’s in a great location. It’s got great community support, so the sooner that we can fill it with a new tenant or a new buyer, the better off this community will be,” said Wendy Dant Chesser, the President and CEO of One Southern Indiana.

The owner of Preferred Meats, a store across the street from the plant, says the cuts will be felt in the local economy. He says some workers shop at the store and his thoughts are with them as they look for new jobs.

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