The following is from The Twin City: (Source)
Hutchinson Technology Inc. will eliminate 78 jobs at its Eau Claire factory, the disk-drive component maker has told state officials.
The action comes as the struggling company continues to slice expenses as it seeks to compete in a mature business increasingly defined by price.
The publicly traded firm, based about 50 miles west of Minneapolis in Hutchinson, Minn., has said in regulatory filings that it has been reshaping itself with the intent of being the lowest-cost manufacturer of suspension assemblies for disk drives.
That effort has affected the company’s plant in Eau Claire, which occupies most of an 859,000-square-foot building.
Three years ago, Hutchinson moved manufacturing to the plant from Minnesota. More recently, however, the company said it would halt assembly operations at Eau Claire as it shifted more assembly work to a factory in Thailand.
Hutchinson opened its Eau Claire plant in 1995, lured in part by incentives from state and local government. The company said then that the factory eventually could employ 1,400 people. At the time, the state Department of Development called it the largest single job-creation project in the agency’s history.
The Leader-Telegram reported that Hutchinson had 660 employees and 81 temporary workers in Eau Claire as of Jan. 29. In its latest annual report, Hutchinson said it employed 2,436 people in the U.S. and Thailand as of last September.
Hutchinson has lost tens of millions of dollars annually for six years running. The losses range from $35 million last year to $168 million in 2009.
Revenue for 2013 totaled $249.6 million.
The job cuts in Eau Claire will begin in early May and be complete by the end of June, Hutchinson told officials.