FIRST ON WITN: Layoffs At One Of Beaufort County's Largest Employers

An official at Potash Corp Aurora, which many know as PCS Phosphate, tells WITN there will be 150 layoffs at the company.

The facility is located in Aurora in Beaufort County. It is owned by the Potash Corp, a global company.

According to the Beaufort County Economic Development website, Potash Corp Aurora has 1,000+ employees. The only other organization in Beaufort County with a similar amount of employees is Beaufort County Schools, according to the website.

Potash officials say the workforce reduction will happen in two phases, with voluntary separation packages available first then involuntary separations if the reduction is not achieved in the first phase.

The effective date is June 30.

Below is the release from Potash Corp Aurora.

"PotashCorp - Aurora Reduces Staff Levels to Maintain Long Term Competitiveness

Aurora, North Carolina – PCS Phosphate Company, Inc. (PotashCorp - Aurora) announced today that it is reducing staffing levels at its phosphate facility by approximately 150 full-time positions, or about 15 percent of its current workforce.

Following a review of key operating processes, changes were identified to lower operating costs while maintaining the operational capability of the facility. These changes are necessary to maintain the facility’s long term competitiveness in a global marketplace.

“This is a difficult day for our employees and our company,” said Steve Beckel, General Manager of PotashCorp - Aurora. “As a company, we never take these decisions lightly. However, remaining competitive for the long term is in the best interests of both our community and our company.”

The workforce reduction will take place in two phases. Employees will first be offered a voluntary separation package, and if target reductions are not met, involuntary separations will take place. The effective date of the layoffs will be June 30, 2012.

“Many employees are being affected by this decision. We will work to help them make a successful transition,” said Beckel. “While it is regrettable that we must take these actions, PotashCorp - Aurora is committed to this community and North Carolina for the long term.”

End of release