ORLEANS, Vt. (AP) – State officials say the Ethan Allen furniture plants in Orleans and Beecher Falls have laid off 110 people.

Officials at Ethan Allen headquarters in Connecticut says the challenging economy is what led to the layoffs.

Ethan Allen still employs about 600 people in Vermont.

Vermont Commerce Secretary Kevin Dorn says Ethan Allen plays a major role in the economy of the Northeast Kingdom. He says company officials have assured them the company wants to stay in the state.

Officials say the Department of Labor will be deploying its rapid response team to Orleans and Beecher Falls next week to help the workers who lost their jobs.

Information from: WCAX-TV, http://www.wcax.com

AP-ES-02-23-09 1841EST

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