CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. -- More than 100 employees at the Walmart Optical Lab in Crawfordsville were told not to report back to work this week as part of a reduction in force by the retail giant.
In total, 108 jobs will be eliminated at the Crawfordsville lab, located at 810 Corda Boulevard, according to a WARN notice filed with the state of Indiana on Tuesday.
The Crawfordsville plant makes prescription eyeglasses for customers, according to a statement from Walmart.
“In response to changing business needs, we are making adjustments at our Walmart Optical Labs in Crawfordsville to help ensure we have the right people in the right place at the right time,” a Walmart spokesman told RTV6 in an email. “We are committed to helping the associates impacted by this decision take advantage of new opportunities and are hopeful that we will be able to help many of the associates find other roles at Walmart stores or Sam’s Clubs.”
Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton said the city was made aware of the layoffs on Tuesday at the same time as employees.
In an emailed statement, Barton said the city will work to assist the laid-off employees in finding new work:
“We were made aware of this decision yesterday morning. Walmart officials have assured us these cuts are nationwide and not reflective of specific challenges in Crawfordsville. They have cited changes in the markets they serve.
Of course, our immediate thoughts are with the displaced workers and their families. We know this a difficult time of uncertainty for them and we are committed to taking every step possible to help ease their transition into new employment.
We have been communicating with management at the Walmart facility and are creating a plan to assist displaced workers through job fairs, etc.
These layoffs are unusual in that they are occurring during a time in which our local economy is strong. That is not typically the case but I believe it will greatly enhance our ability to assist those affected in transitioning to new employment. We have been working through a significant workforce challenge brought on by a lack of qualified workers to fill vacant positions. Our employers are reporting record high numbers of unfilled positions within their companies due to a lack of workers. In fact, several of them are holding back on expansion plans until they can adequately staff existing operations.
We have a very tight labor market and our larger employers have been meeting monthly to create solutions that will grow our workforce. Several of those employers have already reached out to us looking to recruit potential employees from this pool of displaced workers.
We hope develop a solid plan for matching up those affected with available opportunities within the next week.”
Although the layoffs were effective immediately, the affected employees will remain employed with Walmart through Sept. 28, according to the company’s notice.