A tech company in Eau Claire that makes components for computer hard drives is laying off 150 workers as it consolidates operations in Thailand.
At one time Hutchinson Technology Incorporated employed around 2,500 people in Eau Claire but since 2010, those numbers have been dwindling. That's when HTI announced plans to reduce costs and improve efficiency by building a manufacturing plant in Thailand. In a statement, the company says they're moving assembly operations overseas but keeping 600 employees in Eau Claire that work in fabrication. Eau Claire Economic Development Administrator Mike Schatz says now the city and a real estate firm are seeking a new manufacturer to fill the 160,000 square foot shell left by HTI.
"What we hope to do now is take a bad situation and turn it into a positive, by marketing that building and hopefully bringing some new companies and new jobs to the area."
HTI says it has been working with the state and federal governments to provide assistance and information about retraining for those laid off in the restructuring. HTI was founded in Hutchinson, Minnesota, in 1965.