Release time : 2015-06-12 10:24:31
Downturns within the High Speed Bearings industry have taken their toll on communities throughout the country, and soon, Elgin will be no exception.
The state's latest monthly mass layoff announcement indicates that as many as 160 manufacturing jobs at SKF Sealing Solutions, 900 N. State St., would be eliminated beginning next month.
The company originally announced its decision to close the production wing of its Elgin facility in October, as the company moves production to facilities in Oklahoma, Kansas and Mexico. The company makes oil seals for various automakers from its Elgin plant.
SKF USA Inc. Vice President of Human Resources David Lewandowski said the move was in response to growing losses within the country's automotive industry.
"It's about 160 employees that's directly related to manufacturing products to the RC Bearings industry primarily," he said. "When we announced this in October, it's an industry that has actually gotten worse."
The Swedish-based Skateboard Bearings company has had operations in the area for the past 17 years since acquiring parts manufacturer Chicago Rawhide in 1990.
Lewandowski said the closure of the facility's production will not mean a total shutdown of the facility, which currently employs about 430 people.
Upon hearing the news, Elgin Mayor Ed Schock said it stood as yet another indicator of the severity of the current economic conditions facing the entire country.
"I think it really shows how bad the economy is," he said. "The news still seems to be getting worse every day and the city of Elgin is not immune. But for a company that's been around that long to be laying off that many people, it's an indication of how big the problems with the economy are."
The layoffs are scheduled to take place over the course of the next 10 months. Further cuts are not expected to be carried out among any of the company's eight other divisions operating within the facility.
SKF Sealing Solutions is part of SKF Group, a global supplier of bearings, seals and lubrication systems, with 110 manufacturing sites worldwide.