Mining equipment manufacturer to lay off 37 in Lebanon

ssloan@herald-leader.comJune 13, 2012 

Joy Global, a mining equipment manufacturer, plans to lay off 37 employees at its Lebanon plant.

The Milwaukee-based company disclosed the actions, which are expected to be taken by July 20, in a filing that government officials require businesses to make before large layoffs.

In the filing, Joy Global human resources manager Mary Cambron noted the company is "experiencing a temporary decrease in customer orders across the U.S."

"Our customers are facing an unstable market due to competition from natural gas suppliers, lower domestic demands of coal and decreasing coal prices," she wrote. "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."

Cambron did not returns messages left for comment.

State reports listed the plant's 2011 employment as 176. The company also has other operations in the state, including in Millersburg and Salyersville, according to its Web site.

The layoffs are another blow to Kentucky's mining industry, which has mirrored slumps nationally as utilities have begun switching from coal to natural gas-fired power plants to comply with federal environmental regulations. Also, a warm winter decreased demand for coal-produced electricity.

Last week, coal company Alpha Natural Resources announced it will shut down three underground mines and one surface mine and idle two preparation plants in Kentucky. The changes will cut 436 jobs, though 286 employees are expected to be offered jobs at other Alpha facilities in Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia.

Also, in April, Sapphire Coal Co. in Whitesburg announced plans to close its Advantage mine in the area and lay off its 163 workers.

Scott Sloan: (859) 231-1447. Twitter: @HeraldLeaderBiz

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