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MFG closure leaves future uncertain for hundreds

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 7:03 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The announcement that Molded Fiber Glass would be closing it’s Aberdeen plant has shocked not only the employees there, but city and state officials as well. Now an effort to find new jobs for those affected is underway.

The company announced Tuesday that the plant would continue to fulfill orders until August 6th. The plant exclusively makes blades for wind turbines, and employees 300 people. It’s a strike to the city that has seen significant growth in it’s industry even through the pandemic... and helped bring in steady tax revenue for the city. The closure will leave hundreds without jobs by late summer.

“We don’t want to see anybody going out of business. We don’t like to see employers close even if they have a few people. But having 300 is a major impact.” said Aberdeen Mayor Travis Schaunaman.

And the closure affects more than just the city of Aberdeen, but the region and state as well. In a statement, Governor Kristi Noem said,

“I am deeply saddened by the news of MFG’s closure today. We will immediately send a rapid response team to stand by those individuals and families impacted and help them find new opportunities to pursue a fulfilling job or new career path.”

Statement to Dakota News Now from Gov. Kristi Noem.

The city of Aberdeen and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation are already preparing to assist those affected, and help them find new opportunities.

“We can help talk about reemployment assistance benefits that are available to them. But also connect them to workers training options across the state.” said SDDLR Director of Workforce Development Kendra Ringstmeyer. “We really want people make wise decisions when they’re looking at training. Where are the needs, and what type of training is needed to fill those jobs.”

Schaunaman said his priority will be to keep as many of those affected workers in Aberdeen as possible, and help them find jobs at other businesses in the city.

“I’m really confident that they’ll be able to be easily displaced, and hopefully we don’t lose any of them from the community as a whole.” said Schaunaman.

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