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Harman Professional in Elkhart plans to lay off 115 Workers

WSBT

An Elkhart company will close its doors next year, laying off 115 workers.

Crown International, a division of Harman Professional, makes audio equipment that is sold around the world.

The close comes on the heels of a similar move last year, when it laid off 125 production and warehouse workers.

It's part of a move to consolidate and restructure operations.

On Tuesday, the remaining members of the work force were informed of pending layoffs.

"We took this step to improve our efficiency. Our businesses are located at many sites around the country and the world and we are consolidating into a smaller number of sites," says Company Spokesman, Marc Kellom.

In all, the layoffs will involve 115 employees who work at the Elkhart operation.

Phasing out the jobs will happen in stages, and be completed and wrapped up in June when the plant shuts its doors.

"Everyone will get at least 60 days notice, plus a full severance package from Harman," says Kellom.

Some will be given the option of relocating to operations in Los Angeles or Dallas.

"Its especially tough when you loose some of the engineers and scientist and the professional level jobs. When those go, those are harder to replace and your community feels it. Hopefully some local companies will be able to grab them," says Elkhart Chamber of Commerce representative, Kyle Hannon.

"Harman crown is an Elkhart county legacy business, they have been here since the forties. Still when you go to concerts, or when you look at audio equipment. Crown is considered the industry standard, nobody likes to lose that kind of a business,"says a member of the Economic Development Corporation, Mark Dobson.

"When you have a global market place, and you're Elkhart, sometimes Elkhart wins and sometimes its loses, and unfortunately the market played against us this time," says Hannon.

Harmon plans to eliminate 650 employees in the United States and Europe.

It's also looking to close some other operations.

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