A more than 180-year-old shipbuilding company has announced layoffs. In a notice to the state, Jeffersonville-based Jeffboat LLC says decreased demand has led to the decision to cut 278 jobs by the end of March. The company expects the layoffs to be permanent.
The positions affected include welders, fitters, painters and some salaried employees. It plans to part ways with the workers in stages that have already begun and are scheduled to be complete March 30.
Jeffboat is considered the largest and longest continually-operated inland shipyard in the country. During World War II, the company had a work force that swelled to 13,000. A video history on Jeffboat’s website says workers at the 80-acre shipyard on the banks of the Ohio River are capable of building 25 vessels simultaneously using five production lines. It says the company can launch one dry hopper barge every 16 hours, one 10,000-barrel tank barge every three days and one 30,000-barrel tank barge every five days.
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