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Published July 17 2009

Oakes JLG plant to remain open

An Oakes, N.D., production plant that was slated to close in September will remain open.

Gov. John Hoeven said Thursday that JLG Industries Inc., a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corp., will continue operations at its Oakes facility that employs 61 people.

JLG Industries an-nounced in June that it would discontinue production of aerial work platforms at the Oakes plant by the end of September, citing a severe slowdown in the construction business.

The Oakes plant laid off more than 100 workers during the past year.

The company hasn’t made any commitment to hire back former employees, Hoeven said. “But we’re already talking about that, and I’m hopeful, at this point, that they will be able to do more over time.”

The Oakes plant will finish its current JLG work schedule, said Ann Stawski, vice president of marketing communications with parent company Oshkosh Corp.

“It is anticipated afterwards that they will transition to work on other manufacturing assignments for Oshkosh Corp., primarily involving the defense business,” Stawski said.

Oshkosh Corp. recently secured a $1.05 billion contract to produce military all-terrain vehicles.

Hoeven visited the plant Thursday and met with workers and plant management.

“They’re very happy and relieved,” he said, crediting employee productivity and dependability with JLG deciding to keep the plant open.

Oakes Mayor Gary Opp said he was informed about 10:30 a.m. Thursday that the plant would remain open.

“It’s pretty exciting news for the community,” he said.

JLG, acquired by Oshkosh in 2006, has 36 locations in 15 countries.

Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502