Silverton reducing work force

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Silverton Marine Corp. will lay off 202 employees, beginning today, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor.

The layoffs will take place through March 26, according to DOL spokesman Kevin Smith, who said the company cited current economic conditions as the reason for the layoffs.

Calls to Silverton this morning by Soundings Trade Only were not immediately returned.

According to a report in the Daily Journal newspaper, the company had nearly 500 employees as of October 2008. In addition to its New Jersey facility, it also has locations in Florida and Maryland.

The newspaper reported that a letter from Silverton president Richard Cerami Jr. to employees said the company had not shipped a boat to a dealer in two months. He listed rising unemployment, lack of available credit for customers, lack of attendance at boat shows, and dealerships filing for bankruptcy as reasons the boat market has declined.

Silverton, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, is a subsidiary of the Luhrs Marine Group, along with Mainship Corp., Luhrs Corp. and sailboat builder Hunter Marine Corp.

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