LOVES PARK (WIFR) -- Hundreds of Stateliners are losing their jobs. A longtime local business announced it is moving its manufacturing operations to the west coast and China. Schneider Electrics Vice President of Press Relations, Marty Hanna wouldn't go on camera but he told me that the company will move all production out of its Clifford Avenue location by the time the building's lease is up in March of 2014. The moves will start in the next few months to existing facilities in Clovis, California, Portland, Oregon and China. Hanna said management told the workers this afternoon about the planned move.
"Schneider Electric roots goes back to Barber Coleman which is one of the legacy businesses in our community. They've been a member of the Chamber for 102 years so it's difficult to see them make that decision. At the same time, this is a business environment and they have to make the decisions that are best for their output and their employees and their clients," said Einar Forsman, President of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.
400 people currently work at the Loves Park facility. 240 positions will be eliminated. Schneider plans to keep the 160 office employees in the Rockford area. They will look for a new location before the lease expires in March of 2014.