Duluth airplane parts company hiring back laid-off workersby Bob Kelleher, Minnesota Public Radio
Duluth, Minn. — While manufacturing companies around the country are slashing workforces, a Duluth airplane parts maker is rehiring.
Northstar Aerospace produces precision metal parts, primarily for Duluth airplane manufacturer Cirrus Design. When Cirrus cut production last fall, Northstar soon followed -- eventually laying off all but a handful of 115 workers.
Now, Cirrus is slowly ramping up production, and Northstar President and CEO John Eagleton says his company is doing the same. Eagelton says Northstar has also tapped into a new customer base, making parts for wind generation manufacturers.
"We're fortunate to be able to have several new customers that we're making, in some cases, pieces and parts for, and others we're making complete units," he said.
Northstar has brought back 20 workers in the past few weeks -- about 30 percent of its workforce. Eagleton says he expects more rehiring in the coming months.