While businesses across the country temporarily close or lay off workers to cut costs during the COVID-19 pandemic, Indiana’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notices are starting to tell the effects on the r egion.
The WARN notices include GDC, Inc., a plastics and rubber products maker that laid off 293 on March 24; LM Corp., a general freight trucking company, laid off 10; and Benteler, a motor vehicle metal stamping company, is laying off 162.
The new disease sweeping across the world has infected over nearly 200,000 in the U.S. and killed more than 1,000 in New York alone. It is creating a domino effect as businesses temporarily close to halt the spread of the disease, causing companies that rely on their products to sit idle. Other manufacturers have stopped making their product lines in an effort to supply hospitals with needed medical equipment such as masks and face shields.
GDC Corp., a supplier to General Motors, Toyota and others, is affected as automakers shut down production. It also supplies products for the agricultural, industrial and recreational industries.
“Three of GDC, Inc.’s largest customers suddenly and unexpectedly announced that they would be temporarily closing their manufacturing facilities across North America amid the COVID-19 outbreak,” Donna L. Reglein, human resources director GDC, wrote in a letter to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
The result is layoffs at its Goshen facilities at 809, 811, 815 and 821 Logan St. and 300 Steury Ave., as well as at 22428 Elkhart East Blvd. in Elkhart.
Reglein, also head of HR for LM Corp., which has layoffs at 416 Steury Ave., Goshen, wrote that both companies expect the layoffs not to exceed six months.
Austria-based Benteler said it was temporarily laying off employees at its plants where auto companies that it supplies are shut down. It has temporarily laid off the employees at its 910 Eisenhower Dive S. location.
Goshen had a population of 33,220 in 2017, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
Goshen Mayor Jeremy P. Stutsman’s spokeswoman, Sharon Hernandez, said the biggest effort in Elkhart County is the joint venture by LaGrange County Community Foundation and United Way of Elkhart & LaGrange Counties.
Together, the organizations have committed $34,000 to the effort and will provide support to nonprofit and other community organizations engaging in basic needs relief, short-term response, and long-term recovery in LaGrange County that is directly connected to COVID-19.