Another business plans to close shop in Wisconsin.
"This is the worst part of the economic downturn that we've seen."
Governor Jim Doyle responds to news that Briggs & Stratton plans to close its facilities in Jefferson and Watertown, resulting in the permanent loss of 430 jobs.
"We often talk of unemployment in terms of a percentage and what's often forgotten is that percentages are real people, and they aren't people that did anything wrong – they didn't deal derivatives on Wall Street, they didn't manipulate financial markets, they didn't hyper inflate the real estate market, they just went to work every day."
The two plants in southeastern Wisconsin currently manufacture portable, home and standby generators and pressure washers. Much of that production will be consolidated into existing plants in Alabama and Georgia.
Doyle says the state is ready to help.
"To help people get over this really difficult time through extended benefits and then help them get the training they need to get jobs and get back into the workforce."
About 100 salaried workers will have the option to transfer to other Briggs' locations. The company closed a Simplicity lawn mower plant in Port Washington last fall.