Citation Laying Off 128 Workers

Citation Corporation of Michigan has announced layoffs for their East Texas division.

Although the company promises a gradual transition, it still means more than 100 people will soon be without a job.

Citation Corporation currently employs 466 workers at the Lufkin division. That number will soon be reduced by about 30 percent.

"We've been laying off across the entire company and across the entire country. This just happens to be a location that's just recently been affected by the automotive industry," said Cary Wood, Citation Corporation, chief operating officer.

Wood said the company will reduce foundry operations in Lufkin and transfer a select group of products to the Alabama foundry, citing the lower market demands and financial objectives. However, Lufkin operations will continue, for now, because Wood says the foundry is a flagship location.

"It's a great facility," said Wood.  "It has great people in it and it's certainly regretable we have to take the steps we're taking. It's certainly in our plans to keep it open, but we can never say 'never' with the industry and economy the way it is."

128 hourly and salaried employees will be affected, a definite hard hit for Lufkin.

"We hate to see any kind of lay off," said Jim Wehmeier, Economic Development president.

Wehmeier said Citation and the local Workforce Commision will help these employees bounce back.

"The city is very resilient, we've got a very diversified economy for a city of our size," said Wehmeier.  "Although we don't want to see any employee be displaced, the overall economy will not be severely affected."

"We certainly hope it's temporary, but it's not going to correct itself anytime soon," said Wood.