Ending the Year Without a Job

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

Atwood Mobile Products and Amerock are just two of the businesses that have or are in the process of letting employees go.

On Thursday, December 30, 60 to 100 workers at Amerock will drive away being unemployed. In 60 days another group will follow. They just got pink slips on Monday and will be jobless by the end of February.

That is a situation Al Paluzzi didn't want to have to go through. He knew the layoff notices would be coming so in April after 27 years at Amerock he managed to find employment in Elgin.

Al says, “You got more gas and more tolls but I wanted to keep my house and there's nothing around here for $19 - $20 an hour like most of us were making."

Amerock worker woes can be added to the similar concerns for those at Atwood Mobile Products. Thanksgiving weekend Atwood stopped production in Rockford and moved to Elkhart, Indiana. By consolidating, over 400 jobs are gone and so is a 94-year relationship with the Rock River Valley. Former Textron worker Carl Olsen is all too familiar with companies moving out of town. He was laid off last year and just recently found a job.

Carl told 23 News about his year. He says, “I had to give up my house and everything. Now I started a job but I am making less money than I did 13 years ago when I started at Textron.”

Both Carl and Al say they are lucky to be working and can only imagine how difficult it will be for Amerock and Atwood employees.

Carl stated, “The more they lay off the more plants that shut down the more competition there is."

Al also responded by saying, "I want to give them a heads up. It's not easy you won't find anything here at the same money. They are in for a rude awakening."

With Monday's round of pink slips there are only three departments left at Amerock. One is the shipping department which is expected to stay for the next two years.


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