Harley-Davidson to lay off 39 employees in Tomahawk

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Tomahawk, WI 39 employees at the Harley-Davidson factories in Tomahawk will be laid off by the company starting in October, according to a company spokesperson.

Katie Almquist, Manager of Communications for Harley-Davidson, tells NewsChannel 7 the layoffs are happening because the company is adjusting to industry and market needs.

"At Harley-Davidson, we continually react to our industry and market to provide the best products and services to our customers, and to that end we have to adjust our production plan along with our 2016 guidance, and are making our necessary changes to right-size our company as a whole," said Almquist.

There are two factory locations in Tomahawk. It’s unclear how many positions will be reduced at each factory.

The announcement came as a shock to many, including Tomahawk mayor Steven Taskay.

He said he's already contacted the UW Extension in Madison, and the Lincoln County Economic Development Office, and adds steps are being taken to help those affected by the layoffs, and keep them in Tomahawk.

"The way I understand it is, they're going to be trying to offer some additional training, so that maybe they can get a different skill set, or locate some jobs in the Lincoln County, Tomahawk area for them," Taskay said.

Harley-Davidson employees approached by NewsChannel 7 declined to comment.

The layoffs will start in October and will be complete by the end of the year.