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Cirrus to call back as many as 50 workers in GF and Duluth

Cirrus laid off 30 workers at its Grand Forks plant Tuesday after 29 were laid off at the plant the previous month.

Cirrus Aircraft will call back perhaps more than 50 furloughed employees at the company's Grand Forks and Duluth plants in coming weeks as the company increases its production from six to eight planes a week, the company announced Monday.

"We are extremely pleased with continuing stronger sales trends that began in the first quarter," Pat Waddick, executive vice president of operations, said in a news release. "Unlike the recent change to six aircraft per week, today's change to eight per week will take somewhat longer to implement due to required staffing increases and the commensurate impact on vendor lead times. We recognize the good news this represents to many furloughed members of the Cirrus family and we are moving as quickly as possible to determine the needed skill sets and to call those folks back to work."

This is the second production increase that Cirrus has announced in just more than a month. In late April the company announced that it would boost production in Duluth to six new airplanes per week. The company had been averaging three to four airplanes a week as it adjusted production to slumping demand. But that production increase did not result in a callback of furloughed workers.

After several rounds of cuts, Cirrus employs about 810 people companywide, including 654 in Duluth and 152 in Grand Forks, where it produces composite components for its planes. At its peak, Cirrus was churning out about 12 planes per week and employed about 1,300 people.