A northern Wisconsin community is dealing with the loss of more than 150 jobs. Despite wage and benefit concessions by the workers there, Weather Shield announced plans earlier this month to permanently close its Park Falls manufacturing plant, where 158 employees have been laid off for nine months. “All we’re going to try and do is move forward to the best of our ability to replace those jobs it at all possible,” said Park Falls Mayor Thomas Ratzloff. “That process has been ongoing.” Ratzloff said Weather Shield’s decision to shutter the plant came as complete surprise, so the city had no opportunity to negotiate. “Anytime you have a loss like this, it has some kind of devastating effect,” he said. “You have businesses that are just kind of holding in a weak economy, and something like this certainly doesn’t bode well for our local economy. The Park Falls facility has manufactured patio and entry doors for the past nine years. Some work was transferred to Weather Shield’s Mosinee facility.
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