New Flyer bus company, headquartered in Winnipeg but with a large operation in St. Cloud, was supposed to be recession-proof. New Flyer makes the energy-efficient hybrid buses sought by mass transit companies across the country. But now it is laying off 320 workers. The reason, according to the New York Times:
The layoffs at New Flyer are a vivid illustration of the way that some of the economic impact of the $787 billion federal stimulus law is being diluted by the actions that state and local governments are taking to weather the recession. …The stimulus will spend $27.5 billion in federal money on highway projects, but at least 19 states are planning to cut their highway spending this year, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, a trade group. And as the stimulus devotes $8.4 billion to mass transit, transit systems across the nation have been forced to cut service, raise fares and delay capital spending.
According to the St. Cloud Times, about 70 of the layoffs (13% of the work force) will come in St. Cloud by December. Prairie Business reports that the Crookston plant will lose about 60 jobs. Most of the 320 jobs will be cut from the Winnipeg headquarters.