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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -
A Stevens Point factory is set to close this summer and workers at Joerns Healthcare are sharing their feelings about an uncertain future.
According to officials, about 150 people will lose their jobs once the Joerns factory in Stevens Point shuts down.
Kevin Woyak has worked at Joerns for 19 years.
"And then, all of a sudden, we got told 'we're moving to Mexico,'" he said.
Woyak will work his last day in August. He said finding out the company was shutting down its location in Stevens Point was a shock.
"All we heard was we're making money. We're making money."
In January, company officials announced they would be closing the factory and moving those jobs to other facilities in the United States and Mexico.
We tried contacting Joerns officials about that decision, but they didn't return our repeated calls.
In a statement released in January, President and CEO Mark Ludwig said,
"...we needed to take this step to help us continue to provide the highest quality to our customers at a competitive price," adding, "this consolidation will help us to reduce our costs dramatically and to level the playing field with competitors..."
But some Joerns employees say outsourcing jobs is wrong.
"We need to save jobs that are already here in the United States. That is really important," Woyak said.
He and other past and present employees gathered at the factory Monday to protest the closing and make their voices heard. Afterwards, they said they'll try to move on.
"My income is Joerns healthcare so, I have to find another job to support myself," Woyak said.
In that January news release, Joerns officials said they do plan to keep about 25 to 30 jobs in Stevens Point. Those include customer and technical service positions.
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