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Gunite Corp. cutting 100-plus jobs at Elkhart plant

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Beleaguered Elkhart took another hit this week when Illinois-based Gunite Corp. announced plans to move 110 manufacturing jobs to Rockford, Ill., and Brillion, Wis.

Gunite is a division of Evansville-based Accuride Corp., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October. The manufacturer of truck parts is one of the state’s largest public companies.

In a Jan. 12 letter to the state Department of Workforce Development, officials blamed “market dynamics” for the layoffs at Gunite’s Elkhart facility. The brake system manufacturer said it will move some hub and drum machining to the other facilities by March.

Gunite has 210 hourly workers and 28 salaried employees in Elkhart, company spokeswoman Eva Schmitz said. Layoff notices went to 110 hourly workers; salaried staff also received notification of possible layoffs, but those would not occur until after the production move is complete.

Other work at the Elkhart plant will be “business as usual,” the letter said.

Elkhart County’s 14.5-percent unemployment rate in November was the highest in the state. Statewide, the jobless rate stood at 9.6 percent in November, the most recent month for which statistics are available.

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