Efforts to help 700 employees to be cut by Dow Chemical - WNEM TV 5

Efforts to help 700 employees to be cut by Dow Chemical

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MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

One of Mid-Michigan's largest employers is cutting hundreds of jobs. 

The Dow Chemical Company announced Tuesday it's cutting approximately 700 jobs from both Dow and Dow Corning in the Great Lakes Bay Region as well as announcing plans to cut approximately 2,500 positions globally. That is about 4 percent of the company's total workforce. 

This comes as the company moves into full ownership of Dow Corning, Inc.

Company officials said their first goal is to let employees know their job status as soon as possible. Dow reports those notices will start in the coming weeks and will continue through the end of the third quarter of 2016. Jobs will be cut throughout a two-year period. 

The company also plans to help aid those who lose their jobs in finding further employment, according to a release. That could come in the form of hiring sessions and working with groups, such as Midland Tomorrow, to help find new employment for laid-off workers.

"As you by now have heard or read, Dow Chemical will soon begin announcing layoffs. This will be a difficult time for employees, families and our community.  Dow Chemical has been working diligently with our  regional and state economic development agencies, including Midland Tomorrow, to minimize the impact of the impending layoffs on our Great Lakes Bay Region. We have been partnering on efforts designed to keep talent in our region, as finding talent is one of the key challenges many of our local employers face. Working together, we will be launching a customized online portal to match people with available jobs and we will be reaching out to our employers interested in accessing the portal in the coming days. Our efforts will include hosting several career fairs including an Entrepreneurial Fair with the GRLRA in 2016.  If you have any questions in the meantime regarding the Dow Chemical Company, please reach out to Dow Media Relations directly," Becky Church, Midland Tomorrow. 

The company also said it hopes to minimize layoffs by diverting impacted employees into open positions created by an external hiring slow-down that has been in place since January.

Dow also announced plans to shutdown silicone manufacturing facilities in Greensboro, North Carolina and Yamakita, Japan. Unspecified administrative, corporate and manufacturing facilities will also be impacted, according to a statement from the company.

Dow said all Dow and Dow Corning office locations will remain open. Also, Dow's new corporate HQ building will continue as planned. It is scheduled to open at the end of 2017.

"With these difficult but necessary actions, we are bringing together the best of each company's talent and technology, accelerating Dow's strategy to go narrower and deeper into attractive, targeted market sectors, and setting the stage for the new Dow  the world's leading material science company,"  Andrew Liveris Dow Chemical Chairman and CEO. 

The company has two releases on their website, click here and here

In th meantime, the anticipated merger between two chemical giants, Dow Chemical and DuPont continues. The new $130 billion company will be called Dow-DuPont. Read more on the merger here

The plan is to eventually split that up into three separate companies, each with its own focus of agriculture, material sciences and specialty products. 

"We knew this was coming. Today was the day," Midland Mayor Maureen Donker said.

She said many residents expected the news, but she said it's painful to hear.

"For us, it's really very personal because it impacts our individuals that we care about. It impacts our friends and our neighbors. So it's a difficult time for us," Donker said.

For her part, Donker said Midland has experienced Dow downturns in the past and believes the city will remain strong.

"As a city and as a community we need to be focused. We need to be disciplined, making sure that we don't miss any opportunities that are going to present themselves during this transitional period. That we work to be a community of choice for businesses to grow and families to live," Donker said.

More layoffs are possible as the merger between the two companies continues.

Matthew Felan, president and CEO of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance, is hoping to help find those who are laid off new job opportunities in the area.

"These are great, hard-working people with a lot of ability and we want to keep them here in the region and so we're going to work with all of our partners to figure out what opportunities are available at other companies throughout the region," Felan said.

He said there is some good news in the company's announcement.

"No facilities are being closed here in the Great Lakes Bay Region and that's a sign of great news for us. It's a sign that business is going well at those existing facilities and there's potential to grow," Felan said.

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