FULTON, Illinois - August 30th was the last day of work for 61 employees at Timken Drives.
A spokesperson for the company, which engineers bearings and power transmission products, says a "decline in demand," has forced them to make cuts.
Chris Langfitt is one of the 61 people laid off. He said he found out about the cuts on the morning of August 26.
"Everybody thinks they’ve known about this for a while. It just came to the point now where they had to do it. They could have given us a heads up a month ago," said Langfitt.
The 49-year-old father of seven has worked for the company for two years. Now he is searching for a new gig.
"I am at the age now where I am looking for a job where I can retire from and now I have to start all over,"Langfitt said.
The company spokesperson said in a statement, "We intend to call them back as demand returns."
But, Langfitt said waiting for that call is not an option.
"I need another job now. I don`t have the option to wait possibly four to six months," he said.
The Clinton Region Development Corporation is focused on working with partners in Whiteside County and Clinton County to connect the newly unemployed individuals with new opportunities.
"Their skill-sets are in high in demand," said Andrew Sokolovich, Existing Industry Manager.
He and his team say retaining the laid off employees needs to be a top priority in the region.
"We are predominantly manufacturing so we don’t want to lose anybody with a manufacturing skill set," said Sokolovich.
Even with resources available, Langfitt fears finding a new job is going to be tough.
"There`s not 61. And, there`s 60 other people just like me today that are now looking for jobs," said Langfitt.
Here's the company's full statement:
"We continually evaluate our long-term capacity, cost competitiveness and customer demand to ensure staffing levels at our facilities are in line with the needs of the market.
We’ve seen a decline in demand for some of the products we produce at ourDrives facility and have made the difficult decision to reduce staffing levels there by 61 associates, effective Sept. 3. We anticipate that demand will eventually return so that we can bring back those affected.
We’ve already notified affected associates, who perform a variety of functions at the facility, and let them know we intend to call them back as demand returns," - Timken Company Spokesperson Scott Schroeder