ST. CLOUD -- We learned Tuesday that Electrolux will be shuttering its freezer making plant here in St. Cloud at the end of 2019.

St. Cloud State University Economics Professor King Banaian says the 900 jobs that will be lost represents about six percent of all manufacturing jobs in the area, and it is less than one percent of all jobs.

According to the city's website, they are one of our top five employers.

He says with the St. Cloud metro area at a 17-year low unemployment rate, he is hopeful the workers impacted will be able to find new work.

The unemployment rate is quite low.  A 17-year low is correct.  So there's a very tight labor market.  Our employers keep saying to us in our surveys that finding qualified workers is one of the most serious issues.

Banaian says it is estimated that there are currently between 7,000 and 8,000 available jobs in the St. Cloud area right now.

He says he expects the Minnesota Workforce Center will be helping to retrain the Electrolux workers for some of those open jobs over the next two years.

Tammy Biery is the Executive Director of Career Solutions -- a partner with the Minnesota Workforce Center. She says they have programs to help workers who are part of a mass layoff.  Biery says it is a state-funded program. She says they can do some preliminary work now but will have to wait until they get a specific closing date before they can really start to work with the Electrolux employees on the retraining programs.