A Truck Tale

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Come Friday, all of the employees at Rockford Truck Country will be out of a job as the facility shuts its doors for good, but another stateline company is bringing back the holiday cheer to some of the displaced workers.

It's an all too familiar trend; a company closes its doors, leaving dozens of workers out of a job.

After five years, Rockford Truck Country is closing. General Manager Jim Gentry, who didn't want to speak on camera, says the Rockford facility is no longer profitable, but Peterbilt of Rockford, a truck sales and service company, is wheeling in a truckload of opportunity for five to 10 of Truck Country's workers.

"Our original plan was to expand in the third quarter of next year, but with the closing of Truck Country we've decided to accelerate and expand in January to hire some people who've lost their jobs," says Peterbilt General Manager Rich Yezzi

The wages for the new full-time mechanic and sales positions will average between $16 and $24 an hour. Peterbilt GM Rich Yezzi says the company has increased its workforce 400 percent since the location opened last year and says the skills possessed by the Truck Country workers will be a great asset to Peterbilt.

"Good experience, very good people who will come and do a great job. It certainly spurred us to get these people on board quickly," says Yezzi.

But Yezzi says the expansion won't stop here. He hopes to do some more hiring during the next two years, but right now he's happy the company will be able to provide job security for laid off workers this holiday season.

Rich Yezzi says the company is always accepting applications for employment. For more information you can e-mail Rich at ryezzi@jxe.com, visit their website at www.jxe.com, or just stop by the company at 4260 Linden Road.

Several of the current Rockford Truck Country employees will be offered employment at other Truck Country locations in Wisconsin and Iowa.