Semco ceases operations
After nearly 80-years as a premier employer in the Merrill area; manufacturing windows and doors for customers across the country, Semling Menke Inc. abruptly ceased operations, effective Tuesday, Dec. 31.
The closure left approximately 120 employees out of work.
As part of a letter dated Monday, Dec. 30, written by company president Patrick L. Semling, employees were advised the facilities located at 605 N. Ohio Street and 410 Douglas Street would be permanently closed, effective as of close of business on Dec. 31.
“As a result of this action, all positions, approximately 120, will be immediately eliminated,” Semling stated in the letter.
“Because of lack of orders, the inability to obtain further financing, insufficient cash and the inability to sell the company as a going concern, we are unable to continue operation of the business. The company has been pursuing additional financing to stay operating in Merrill, but has been unsuccessful and was unable to provide any notice until now.”
The letter from Semling goes on to state; “Semling Menke Company Inc. truly regrets these actions are necessary. We deeply appreciate the loyalty of our employees and our foremost concern is to help our workers find other employment.”
On Thursday, Jan 2. the state’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD) issued a press release acknowledging the Semco closure and subsequent workforce reduction.
As part of the release, the department indicated the closure would impact 141 workers.
“Semco Windows & Doors has provided formal notice of a workforce reduction at its Merrill location: 605 N. Ohio St. and 410 Douglas St. A total of 141 workers will be affected. This reduction has already occurred at close of business on Dec. 31, 2019. DWD and its regional partner, the North Central Workforce Development Board, will offer rapid response services to the company and the affected workers.”
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Dislocated Worker Program provides transition assistance to workers and companies affected by permanent worker layoffs. The Program’s local Rapid Response Teams help companies and worker representatives develop and implement a practical transition plan based on the size of the layoff event. Types of services include:
• pre-layoff workshops on a variety of topics such as resume writing and interviewing, job search strategies, and budgeting.
• provision of information about programs and resources through written materials and information sessions.
• career and resource fairs.
Workers affected by permanent layoff may also access basic re-employment services at no charge through the state’s Job Centers. Some services, including training assistance, may be an option for some workers after enrolling in one or more of DWD’s workforce development programs. While all companies faced with permanent worker layoffs are encouraged to seek assistance from the local Rapid Response Teams, some companies may be required to give 60 days notice before a mass layoff or closing under federal and/or state law. More information about advance notice requirements is available at https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dislocatedworker/
Contact: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
Editor’s Note: An informational meeting will be held for all workers affected by the recent closure of Semco on Wednesday, Jan. 8 from 12:30-4 p.m. at the Merrill Expo Center (303 N. Sales Street.)