More than 100 employees will lose their jobs with the upcoming closure of a central Minnesota life jacket manufacturer.
The Coleman Company told the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) that it will shut down its Sauk Rapids facility by the end of 2021. The closure is expected to be permanent. About 175 workers will lose their job, with layoffs beginning on or around Dec. 31,
The facility, located at 1100 Stearns Drive, operates as Stearns Inc., which was purchased by the Coleman Company in 2008. The Coleman Company is, in turn, owned by Newell Brands, which manufactures, distributes and markets various consumer goods.
A Newell Brands spokesperson told Bring Me The News in a statement the company is exiting the industrial and government line of flotation products, and making " manufacturing organizational changes to the recreational personal flotation devices business."
"These decisions are not made lightly and we are grateful to the Sauk Rapids team for their hard work and commitment to our brands, and we’re committed to doing all we can to support them through this transition," the statement concluded.
Stearns Inc. dates back to the 1920s, according to the company's website, eventually embracing the plastics industry and becoming a significant player in the outdoor recreation space — specifically life jackets, water ski belts, and plastic boat interiors.
Their products were designed, tested and made at the Sauk Rapids facility.
The Coleman Company says the 175 current employees there will get either 60 days of wages and benefits in lieu of notice, 60 days’ notice, or a combination of the two. None of the workers are part of a union.
Newell Brands also owns Rubbermaid, Mr. Coffee, Sunbeam, Crock Pot, Elmer's, Sharpie, Yankee Candle and more.