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      Norfolk Plant Closes, 27 Laid Off

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      NORFOLK, Neb. (AP) -- Twenty-seven people are scrambling to find work after a northeast Nebraska manufacturing plant that made lawn care equipment closed suddenly this week.

      Workers at the Classen Manufacturing plant in Norfolk were told Tuesday that the business was closing immediately.

      The Classen business, which began 40 years ago in Norfolk, had been part of the Schiller Grounds Care company since 2004. The Southampton, Pa., based Schiller decided to consolidate its manufacturing at its plants in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

      Former employee Travis Schwartzer says he was shocked by the news because employees had been working six days a week recently to make aerators, power rakes and other lawn equipment.

      Schwartzer says he just landed the Classen job in March, which allowed him to quit three part-time jobs and get health insurance.

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