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Joy Global announces 37 layoffs

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Layoff date is July 20

By Stephen Lega

For the second time in three months, a local factory is announcing layoffs.

Joy Mining Machinery, a division of Joy Global, will be laying off 37 employees at its factory at 750 Industrial Drive in Lebanon. July 20 is the layoff date.

"Our customers are facing an unstable market due to competition from natural gas suppliers, lower domestic demands of coal and decreasing coal prices," a press statement from Joy Global reads.

Because of those factors, Joy Mining Machinery will be "temporarily overstaffed" and layoffs will take place in July, according to the press statement.

"Joy is unclear as to the length of this down market but we will continue working to bring as many products into our plant as possible to negate the effect this will have on our workforce and the community," the statement reads.

According to a letter sent to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, Joy Mining had 175 employees as of June 4, which is when employees were informed that the layoffs would be coming.

The letter also gave a breakdown of the employees who would be affected. The positions that will be affected include eight electrician trainees, two welders, three material holders, four motor associates, seven mechanics, five mechanic trainees, two motor winder trainees, three painters, two parts coordinators, and one production associate.

"I hate to see any people lose their jobs, and these are highly skilled people," said Tom Lund, Marion County economic development director.

He added that the jobs at Joy are among the better-paying factory positions, so the layoffs will have an impact on the community.

"They probably won't have a problem finding jobs, but whether jobs are available here at the same pay scale, I don't know that," Lund said.

The Joy Mining layoff announcement comes a few months after AAR Precision Systems announced it would be closing on June 19. AAR Precision Systems laid off 61 employees as a result of its closure.

AAR Corporation (AAR Precision System's parent company) also recently announced the layoff of 213 employees at a plant in Alabama, according to The Cullman (Alabama) Times. AAR Corporation's Government Affairs Spokesperson Christine Wayne was quoted as saying the company recently lost a U.S. Army contract for flat racks to a Canadian company.

Similarly, Lund suggested that recent government actions affecting the coal industry are having an effect on companies like Joy Mining, which manufacture coal-mining equipment.

"It's just what's happening in the coal fields," he said. "The EPA is making too many demands on them."