Waupaca to idle most of Etowah, Tennessee, foundry, cut 540 jobs

In the biggest layoff in Tennessee in nearly two and a half years, the Waupaca Foundry is planning to cut 540 jobs in June as it idles most of its automotive casting foundry in Etowah.

A decade after Waupaca reopened its Etowah foundry following a yearlong shutdown during the Great Recession, the company said in a layoff notice received by the state Wednesday that it will idle its melt, molding and core room production in McMinn County by June 14. Waupaca, which operates a half dozen other automotive castings plants, said it will shift some of its production to Waupaca's other, larger facilities.

Waupaca will continue iron casting processing operations in Etowah but with only a fraction of the 683 employees the company had at the 21-year-old plant at the beginning of the year, according to the McMinn County Economic Development Authority.