Former Meyer Teleservices employee says business closing is sign of changing economy

By KBJR News 1

April 3, 2014 Updated Apr 3, 2014 at 6:47 PM CDT

Eveleth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board says they're hopeful that the job opportunities in the Quad City area will be an answer for the 104 employees who lost their jobs at Meyer Teleservices this week.

Meanwhile for one former employee, this wasn't the first time a change in economic times meant he was out of a job.

Craig Himmelright started working for Meyer Teleservices in Eveleth in 2009, as a Telecommunications Service Rep.

"And I just recently got promoted to Supervisor at the beginning of March," smiled Himmelright, standing outside of his house Thursday.

And on Monday, none of the 104 employees was expecting to be told that it would be their last day on the job.

"It was my day off," said Himmelright, "and I got a phone call."

To Himmelright, the closing of Meyers Teleservices is a sign of the changing times, and market.

"Calling landlines—that was the main problem," said Himmelright, reflecting on the job, "you can't call cell phones."

For the IRRRB, which provided the company a $625,000 loan in 2006—$250,000 of which is still owed by Meyer—its closing is further reinforcement of the need to diversify the Iron Range economy.

"Businesses come and go, and this business is one that really suffered with changing times, and political fundraising," listed IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich, "and a lot of these sorts of jobs being off–shored to foreign countries, which is unfortunate."

The IRRRB plans to recover the lost debt from the 2006 loan agreement which states they can collect the company's equipment as collateral if it failed.

But for Himmelright and more than 100 other former employees, it's back to looking for new work.

For Himmelright, who also lost his job at Kimball Electronics in Hibbing, and LTV Steel in Hoyt Lakes—all due to a changing economy—the goal is to stay positive.

"All the different jobs that I've worked, I know there's nothing I can't do," said the ever-positive Himmelright. "So I'll find something; I'm a jack of all trades. The only thing I can say to my Meyer friends is: never surrender," he added, laughing.

Along with its Eveleth location, Meyer Teleservices also closed its locations in Saint Cloud and Little Falls.

Billy Wagness
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