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GS Engineering downsizes

September 9, 2011
By GARRETT NEESE - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - GS Engineering in Houghton recently downsized, cutting several employees in reaction to a slowdown in business.

About 10 percent of the company's staff was let go about three weeks ago, said Chris Coxon, vice president of operations at GS Engineering. The company engineers lightweight structures for military and commercial vehicles.

Coxon declined to provide the number of positions eliminated; in a Daily Mining Gazette article earlier this year, President Glen Simula said the company had 53 full-time employees, seven part-time workers and six interns.

The layoffs occurred across all ranges of skill set and level, Coxon said.

"The economy is pretty rough, and with the cuts in the defense and commercial clientele, we need to realign our workforce with the projected workload," he said.

It was a first for GS Engineering, which has posted growth rates of at least 30 percent each year since it was founded in 2002, Coxon said. Formerly located in the Powerhouse building on Lakeshore Drive, it moved to a larger facility on the Isle Royale Sands in 2008.

Earlier this year, the company made moves to expand further by getting authorization from the Houghton City Council to erect temporary trailers for workers.

Coxon said it's too soon to tell when or if numbers might rebound.

"Our stance right now is we're doing whatever it takes to bring in additional work," he said. "It's not our intent to have the organization contract, but we also need to face the realities of the economy and what's going on in the industry and react to it."



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