Updated: 04/02/2014 10:45 PM
Created: 04/02/2014 7:50 AM WDIO.com
By: Logan Gruber & Maarja Anderson
More than 100 people are out of a job on the Iron Range after a telemarketing business in Eveleth closed their doors Monday.
Meyer Teleservices closed their headquarters in St. Cloud, a call center in Little Falls, and the one in Eveleth. Nearly 200 people lost their jobs. 100 of the jobs were at the Eveleth location.
The company was created after the Watergate scandal to raise funds for the Democratic Party. Fundraising through telemarketing was its major service and revenue source.
Owner Gary Owen says the decreasing number of telephone land lines and the lack of access to cell phones have crippled his business. He says politicians are turning to the Internet to raise funds.
Owen says he did everything possible to remain open, using his retirement money and house equity. He said it's been a tough few days and he's sorry he disappointed so many people.
Craig Himmelright is one of the 104 employees who lost their job Monday. Owen said they do not have funds for severance pay.
"I started back in October of 2009 and I was just recently promoted to supervisor," he said.
He was promoted the first week of March. Now, he's looking for a new job. Unfortunately, this is a storm he's weathered before.
"I worked at LTV Steel and I also worked at Kimball Electronics and both places shut down the same way," he said.
The company has been in Eveleth since 2007. IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich said the loss is felt across the Range.
"This business has been in existence on the Iron Range for eight years and we helped support bringing them to the Range," he said. "Certainly, our first thoughts are with those Rangers who lost jobs."
In addition to the lost jobs, the company leaves behind a debt of $250,000 to the IRRRB. Equipment in the building will likely cover the loan, said Sertich.
Sertich said there are similar jobs available on the Range. He asks the employees to contact their local workforce center for help.
Duluth Police: 1 At-Large, 1 Injured in Central Hillside Shooting
A suspect is at large after a 21-year old male was shot in Duluth's Central Hillside neighborhood Tuesday night. We'll bring you more details as they become available.
Fire that Damaged Historic Duluth House Determined to be Arson, Police Search for Suspect
A hefty structure fire brought a slew of crews out early Monday morning in Duluth. It happened just before 1 a.m on 1511 E. Superior St. While there were no injuries and no one was inside the building at the time of the fire, substantial damage is estimated at over $150,000. On Tuesday, the fire was ruled to be caused by arson.
Federal Officials Say Native American School in Minnesota Needs Help
Federal officials got a firsthand look at one deteriorating Native American school in Minnesota Tuesday--they said it's one of many suffering similarly throughout the country.
Shark Tank Star Inspires Entrepreneurs in Northland
Have you ever wanted business advice from a millionaire entrepreneur? Folks in the Northland had the opportunity Tuesday at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. Daymond John not only created his own brand, but is also a star on ABC's hit show Shark Tank.
My Social Security Week and My Account Website
The Social Security Administration has launched an online tool, to help you manage your benefits.