Woodbridge to end operation of auto seats in April

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February 5, 2009
— Woodbridge Group will end its long association with the auto industry April 10 when it shuts down its molded foam operation for auto seats.

About 60 full-time employees will be laid off, said plant manager Glenn Condon, who will be among those let go.

Notices of the layoffs were issued Tuesday to employees and the state's Department of Workforce Development, Condon said.

"This is the last of the automotive workers in Brodhead," he said.

Workers could be done before April 10, but the company probably will keep most of them until the end, he said

The workers have an average of about 25 years with the company, Condon said.

"I've got some employees who are losing their jobs with 36 or 37 years of seniority. They're caught between too young to retire and not old enough to get Social Security and Medicare benefits like so many people being displaced,'' he said.

Woodbridge, which supplied seats to the General Motors plant in Janesville, will retain about 20 employees in Brodhead to handle its chemical operations and composite lumber manufacturing, Condon said.

"This is a tough situation for everybody,'' he said.

Woodbridge also laid off 70 workers in December when GM ended production of full-size sport utility vehicles in Janesville.

The state's Department of Workforce Development and the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board will work with Woodbridge's displaced workers.

"We bring those people in every time we lay off to go over benefits and training options," Condon said.

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