The economic downturn is costing another Wisconsin city hundreds of good jobs. Minnesota based Pentair Corp . has announced plans to close its plant in Sheboygan, and automotive supplier J.L. French has announced cuts, due to plummeting auto sales. In addition to the Sheboygan job losses, the Kohler Company, in the nearby community which bears its name, has also laid off hundreds of workers.
"When you take those three in combination, collectively, it's a very serious cause for concern," says Sheboygan Mayor Juan Perez , noting that the Pentair and J.L. French decisions mean the loss of some 300 jobs each. "These are not the kinds of jobs that are easily replaced," says Perez. "A lot of these employees have been employees for these companies for a long time . . . they've been able to achieve salaries and benefits that complement that status."
Perez says other area manufacturing plants are not laying people off, he's hopeful some may even be hiring. And he'd like to see the stimulus package out of Washington inject some money into creation of jobs in his city.