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Fitchburg-based Sub-Zero Group announces 1,000 layoffs, halts production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Fitchburg-based Sub-Zero Group announces 1,000 layoffs, halts production amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Sub-Zero Wolf

A partial view of the Sub-Zero and Wolf campus from Marketplace Drive in Fitchburg.

Fitchburg-based Sub-Zero Group will lay off more than 1,000 employees following decreased demand for the company's home appliances as COVID-19 continues to spread, according to a notice filed with the state Department of Workforce Development.

The company, which manufactures appliances such as refrigerators and stoves under the Sub-Zero and Wolf Appliances brands, will cease operations for production at 6061 Basswood Drive and 2866 Bud's Drive in Fitchburg.

"These 2020 business circumstances were not foreseeable, but we must react in a way that is designed to balance our duty to protect the health of our workforce as much as possible, minimize the spread of COVID-19 across our communities, and respond to the reality that demand for production has gone down and is forecast to remain down," the company said.

The 1,043 employees will be laid off beginning Sunday. Production will be stopped until at least April 13, and Sub-Zero said it expects most employees  many of whom work in assembly and fabrication — will be recalled to work when the facilities reopen. 

The DWD and the South Central Workforce Development Board will provide services to the affected workers, including workshops for resume writing and interviewing, information about programs and resources available, and career and resource fairs.

Over the summer, Sub-Zero had announced it would create 100 jobs with the opening of a planned $70 million research and design facility.

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