Industry in Review: Plant Closures, Layoffs and Expansions in 2011January 4th, 2012 by DWM Magazine
Ever wonder exactly how many plants closed in 2011, and how many layoffs occurred? In spite of the numerous closures and hundreds of layoffs there were a few companies that expanded. Interestingly enough, a few companies appeared on multiple lists. The big closure announcements here all came in September and October, and the list appears in descending order, the most recent closures appearing first. (Note that this list does not take acquisitions or bankruptcies into account and does not include Canadian companies.)
Additionally, some smaller companies may be missing from the list as they are not required to announce the closings or layoffs under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). The Act requires employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs if the shutdown will result in an employment loss for 50 or more employees during any 30-day period.
“Not all plant closures are created equal,” says DWM columnist Michael Collins, vice president of the buildings product group at Jordan Knauff and Co. “If a company has three plants, they may close and consolidate the least efficient plant into the two more efficient plants. While that kind of move is unfortunate for the workers affected, it’s a positive for the overall industry. Companies with higher plant utilization are less likely to chase down margins in the interest of getting the additional volume.”
Check out our compilation and if you know of closures or expansions we missed email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The expanded list will appear in a future newsletter.
• Schield Family Brands: In December 2011, Schield Family Brands announced it would close its office and manufacturing facility in Mosinee, Wis., and consolidate these operations into other facilities by the end of 2012. The closure will affect approximately 556 manufacturing, office and transportation employees.
In September 2011, Schield announced it would close its Park Falls, Wis., facility and move door production lines to other facilities. The closure was set to affect 152 employees.
In both closures, employees were encouraged to seek employment at other company facilities.
• Larson Manufacturing: In November 2011, Larson Manufacturing, based in Brookings, S.D., announced that it is consolidating its Iowa manufacturing operations into one facility. Larson would be consolidating from four manufacturing plants down to three, which would reduce the Iowa workforce by 68 people though the company did expect to add 50 employees to the remaining sites to maintain its current production levels.
• Milgard Windows and Doors: Also in November, Milgard Windows and Doors announced it will close its Hollister, Calif., and Phoenix, Ariz., facilities. The company previously announced the closing of its Chicago facility. The closures were projected to reduce headcounts by roughly 750 people.
• Pella Windows and Doors: Pella Corp. announced at the end of October that it would close its West Columbia, S.C., vinyl window manufacturing site, by the end of December 2011. The plant employs 147 people. Employees were encouraged to seek employment at other Pella manufacturing sites.
• Champion Window: Also in October, Champion Window announced that it would close its Houston plant and cut 135 jobs.
• Jeld-Wen: In October, Jeld-Wen announced it would consolidate its Cheyenne, Wyo., window plant with other manufacturing operations. The plant employed approximately 112 employees.
• Simonton Windows: In early September, Simonton Windows announced it is closing its plant in McAlester, Okla., by the end of the year. Approximately 246 employees at the facility were offered severance packages and support with job placement.
Layoffs Without Closures
• Andersen Corp.: In November, Andersen Corp. announced that it would lay off 250 workers.
• Pella Corp.: Pella also announced in November that 198 people will lose their jobs as a result of the prolonged housing recession.
• Quaker Windows: Quaker Windows, based in Freeburg, Mo., announced in September that it would spend an estimated $11 million, over a five-year period to expand its operations.
• Therma-Tru Doors: The LaGrange County Economic Development Corp. in LaGrange, Ind., awarded a grant to Therma-Tru Corp. in July allowing the company to expand and add 40 jobs to its Howe, Ind., facility.
• Vytex Windows: Vytex Windows, based in Laurel, Md., announced in May that it had expanded the distribution capabilities of its manufacturing operation with the opening of a new distribution center in Cleveland.
• Pella Windows: Pella Corp. announced in May that it would expand its Murray, Ky., operations, creating 75 new jobs for the community.
• Dove Vinyl Windows: The company, based in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., opened a new Virginia plant in 2011. At the time of the announcement the company said it would eventually result in the creation of 100 jobs.