News, Culture and NPR for Central & Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
91.7FM Alpena and WCML-TV Channel 6 Alpena are off the air. Click here to learn more.

Shock consumes Alpena after factory lays off over 150 workers

Alpena Water Tower seen in November, 2023
Teresa Homsi
Alpena Water Tower seen in November, 2023

More than 150 employees at the Decorative Panels International plant in Alpena were laid off on Feb. 22.

The Alpena News reports the company was facing financial challenges that were insurmountable and company leaders said they exhausted all other options.

Several employees reported they received text messages early Thursday morning telling them not to come to work and were provided with limited information.

One employee told the News there was no indication the plant would be closing or that mass layoffs were on the horizon.

Interim city mayor Cindy Johnson said she's been in touch with administrators of the plant to make sure the company takes care of the affected employees.

Johnson said Alpena will rally and support the families who lost their jobs.

Reporter Steve Schulwitz of the News joined WCMU's Rick Brewer to help listeners understand what these layoffs mean for the northeast Michigan community.


  • Steve Schulwitz, reporter with The Alpena News
Rick Brewer has been news director at WCMU since February 2024.