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Fulton factory announces layoffs, temporary shutdown

A representative for HarbisonWalker International’s Fulton facility announced the location will temporarily close its doors starting October 25, 2016.

The announcement comes in the wake of what the representative calls a substantial decrease in business.

In total, 87 employees will be laid off including all production and maintenance employees represented by various unions and workers whose jobs support the facility’s operations.

The company currently does not know when it will reopen, but the representative said it could extend past six months.

The Callaway County Director of Economic Development Bruce Hackmann said it wasn’t a surprise when he received the message, “due to the current state the fire brick, and steel industry is in, it was quite inevitable.”

As of now, Bruce Hackmann says they are remaining optimistic , “we certainly hope that nothing will be permanent in terms of this shutdown and hopefully sales will pick back up.”

Harbison Walker International has been in business for more than 150 years. Hackmann says over time, he has seen layoffs happen but says Callaway County as a whole has a great economy.

“The number of employers that we currently have, are looking to hire people and are actively seeking to fill jobs,” Hackmann said.

The company’s senior human resource director, Judy Weisseg said in a statement. “Due to the current business conditions, including low brick demand, we have curtailed operations at Harbison Walker International, Fulton location.

The company says it has been in full compliance with the federal worker adjustment and retraining notification act.

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