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Economy forces layoffs at Superior Industries

Superior Industries in Sun Tribune file photo.

Economic slowdowns in the aggregate and mining industries has forced Superior Industries to layoff 30 employees and transfer 15 workers to its WestMor Industries operation.

Scott Arndt, Superior's Director of Human Resources, said in a statement released Thursday that the economic downturn and tight financial markets have led to many projects the company had lined up to be delayed or cancelled.

The layoffs were effective Monday, and 332 workers are still employed in Superior's Equipment and Components Division, Arndt said.

Company officials and workers are having a difficult time with the staff reductions, Arndt said.

"We haven't had to do anything like this in 37 years of business so it's a pretty emotional time for everybody here," Arndt said.

Superior's adjustment to stay in line with market demands required the layoff of 30 employees from its Equipment and Component divisions and the transfer of workers to WestMor, which Superior purchased last year.

"The synergies between all of our divisions is a tremendous asset because it allows us to share resources within our company," according to Arndt's statement. "We are hopeful the market will eventually return with the strengthening of the financial markets and available credit for our customers.'

There is hope, too, that the federal government's economic stimulus package's road building initiatives prove to be "a good indicator towards the strengthening of the aggregate industry," Arndt stated.

Superior's moves are another sign that the economic troubles are filtering down to the Morris area.

Earlier this year, Morris' DENCO ethanol plant officials announced that they were shutting down operations temporarily, forcing the company to layoff about 25 workers.