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Nearly 400 workers impacted by JanSport announcement

(WBAY)
Published: Apr. 4, 2017 at 10:47 AM CDT
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VF is ending its JanSport Collegiate apparel business, a move that will put nearly 400 Fox Valley workers out of a job.

The business, located on County Hwy CB in Greenville, will begin letting employees go on June 9, according to a letter provided to employees.

"Because of these fluctuations in our business, we have initiated some actions across parts of our operations at our VF Outdoor facility in Appleton. These actions include ceasing our apparel decoration operations at the VF Outdoor facility in Appleton later this year. This also includes our JanSport Collegiate Licensed Apparel business, which will be winding down business in the coming months," reads a statement from VF.

The move will impact 380 jobs.

The company is not closing the facility. VF says it will remain open to service outdoor brands (Timberland, The North Face, Vans), accounting, finance, credit, and customer service. The 370 workers in those positions will remain employed.

"While we regret that these actions will impact associates and their families, we are confident that this is the right strategic direction for VF and will enable the company to refocus the composition of our portfolio for future growth," reads the company statement.

A letter to employees says the last possible day of employment will be September 29.

Employees will receive a severance package based on their tenure and role with the company.

JanSport is just one of the latest in a line of companies the lay off workers. But, according to Jim Golembeski with the Bay Area Workforce Development Board, now is as good of time as any to be looking for work. Golembeski says, "We've been dealing with other dislocations, Brillion Ironworks, Manitowoc Cranes, Algoma Hardwoods and what we're finding is people are getting jobs very very quickly after they come out of those places so it's a very robust market yet."

While VF has yet to reach out to to the Workforce Development Board, Golembeski plans to make resources available to displaced workers, adding, "We will begin to hold worker orientation sessions where we will tell them what kind of assistance is available and hook them up with those kids of resources."

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*This report has been updated to reflect that VF is not selling the JanSport line. It is phasing out the line. We regret the error.

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