Tuesday, in an awkward moment not seen since that time some dude got “Jon Bovi” tattood on his arm, Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson found itself the subject of two very different headlines. In one, Harley-Davidson motorcycles were named the winner of the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce’s “Coolest Thing Made In Wisconsin” award; in the other, Harley announced plans to lay off roughly 225 salaried employees in the next two months. Ouch.
As reported by the Milwaukee Business Journal, the WMC created the “Coolest Thing Made In Wisconsin” contest “to help its members gain wider exposure for their companies and their products, and to promote industry as a viable and ‘cool’ career option for young people in the state.” As also reported by the Milwaukee Business Journal (though downplayed and not connected), the winner of the aforementioned contest plans to “streamline” its business, “which will result in employment reductions.” Oof.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel went into a little more detail about those employment reductions:
Harley-Davidson Inc. on Tuesday said it expects to lay off about 225 salaried employees between now and the end of the year as the company cuts costs amid a sluggish U.S. motorcycle market.
Harley said it will incur between $20 million and $25 million in employee separation and reorganization costs as it throttles back production and reduces the number of workers.
Roughly 225 salaried employees and 70 contractors will be affected by the layoffs throughout the company, said Harley-Davidson spokeswoman Maripat Blankenheim.
Harley has 1,024 salaried employees at its Juneau Avenue headquarters and 3,246 salaried employees worldwide. The company is not disclosing specific locations for the job cuts or the affected positions.
In other news, they blew it.