SHENANDOAH, Iowa — Eaton officials say the company will eliminate roughly 250 positions at its Shenandoah plant.

The cuts will leave 85 jobs at the plant, which laid off 71 workers permanently in December.

The job cuts will begin in a few weeks and be completed by the end of September, said Jim Michels, global business communications manager for Eaton Vehicle Group. Positions will be eliminated from transmission assembly and gear and shaft machine operations, he said.

“I can’t emphasize enough that this was a difficult decision. It is not a reflection of the people at

the facility. These are really, really quality employees,” Michels said. “We understand the impact this is going to have.”

Michels said there are two main reasons for the cuts. The first is a shift in the marketplace to automated transmissions. The Shenandoah facility manufactures manual transmissions.

“The shift in the market has occurred at a much more rapid rate than anyone anticipated,” he said.

Second, a significant reduction is forecast in 2016 in the heavy-duty commercial vehicle market — a roughly 23 percent drop.

Michels said operations in Shenandoah will be moved to either Kings Mountain, North Carolina, or San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Employees will receive 60 days’ notice before positions are eliminated. They will receive full severance packages and outplacement services, Michels said, and they will be encouraged to seek other positions within Eaton.

Those being displaced include hourly and salaried employees, he added.

“These are hardworking, honest, committed people, and it’s a tough day for all of us,” he said.

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