IWCO Direct Cutting 330 Jobs in Little Falls

IWCO Direct Cutting 330 Jobs in Little Falls

Surprise move marks exit of one of city’s largest employers

A generally improving economy is not immune from individual companies making mass layoffs.

Chanhassen-based IWCO Direct has announced plans to close its facility in Little Falls, cutting 330 jobs. Employees were notified of the decision on Monday morning according to a letter that IWCO filed with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. IWCO Direct is a direct mail and digital marketing company.

IWCO’s letter to DEED indicates that the closure was driven by “a change in business needs,” but did not offer any further detail. A representative of IWCO Direct did not respond to a request for comment.

The jobs will be cut in two stages: 165 workers will work through November 1 and the other 165 workers will work through January 1, 2022.

“It came as a surprise,” Little Fall Mayor Greg Zylka told Twin Cities Business on Monday. “We’re already working to try to find to find help for the workers that are losing their jobs.”

Zylka said that IWCO Direct was one of the largest employers in Little Falls and that the facility had been located there for approximately 35 years. The closure will hit close to home for many in Little Falls, including Zylka.

“I’ve got relatives working there. My brother texted me first thing as soon as his wife heard that she would be losing her job,” said Zylka.

IWCO Direct is owned by Massachusetts-based Steel Connect Inc., a publicly traded holding company.

The last paragraph of the company’s letter to DEED struck an apologetic tone.

“We apologize in advance for the impact this closure may have on the community. Operating out of Little Falls has been a positive experience for IWCO Direct. We welcome any suggestions your team might have as to ways in which we can support our team and the community during this change.”

Zylka noted that Little Falls has always rebounded from large layoffs in the past from companies such as Larson Boats and Crestliner and expects to do so again. Little Falls has approximately 8,700 residents.

“Our workers are the number one priority and we will do everything possible to assist them,” said Zylka.