Hebeler laying off 20 of 52 employees

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 10, 2003

[7/10/03]A Vicksburg industry announced plans today to lay off about 20 workers, nearly half its workforce and its second cutback in 13 months.

The last day for those employees at the Hebeler Vicksburg Corp. plant at the Vicksburg Harbor will be Friday, said plant general manager Dan Hobbs. He said the layoffs are due to what he termed a “tremendous downturn in the power-generating industry.”

Hebeler manufactures equipment for electric generators and primarily supplies General Electric.

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Hobbs said he did not expect to rehire those employees anytime soon and encouraged other local plants looking for workers to hire the Hebeler employees being laid off.

“We expect this downturn to extend well into 2004,” Hobbs said.

The layoff is the second in a little more than a year, with 45 employees terminated in June 2002, reducing the workforce from 120 to about 75.

In October last year, the company announced it was laying off 40 employees, but orders from customers allowed employees to remain at the plant.

With a series of reductions since, the plant at E.W. Haining Industrial Center employed about 52 people before this round of layoffs, Hobbs said. He said all the employees who will be laid off were notified.

“We tried to give everybody as much advance notice as we could,” Hobbs said.

The welding company, in Vicksburg since 1990, makes pressure vessels and modular equipment for chemical plants and electric generators.