Shop-Vac Corp. announced Friday it will lay off some 200 employees by the end of this year - about 40 percent of the company's workforce in Williamsport.
"The company has been severely hit by double-digit (figure) medical costs, recession, unpredictable weather patterns and increased global competition," said Linda Fisher, vice president of human resources.
The layoffs, she said, are restricted to the company's production line, with the first workers losing their jobs Oct. 5.
Fisher said all furloughed workers were informed today by letters.
"It's a pretty sad place right now," she said late Friday afternoon.
Jobless employees with "proper qualifications" will have the opportunity to transfer to a Shop-Vac facility in Binghamton, N.Y.
Established in 1948, Shop Vac produces wet/dry vacuum cleaners and accessories.
Company officials stressed they are not closing the plant at 2323 Reach Road.
"We are keeping our corporate offices in Williamsport and some production lines," Fisher said.