Employees at JELD-WEN’s Premium Wood Door Division in Oshkosh, Wis., were notified on Friday, June 5, that the plant located at 228 W. 6th Ave. will close by August 7, 2009. The company also mailed notices to Winnebago County officials and the Wisconsin Department of Labor that this closure will displace 79 employees.”Closing the Oshkosh plant was a difficult decision, but an economic necessity,” said general manager Scott Wilcox. “Our dedicated workforce has contributed many improvements toward our goal of keeping our wood door product offering competitive. But the sustained economic downturn and long-standing price pressure from lower-cost, imported doors have made this closure a reality.”

“Our employees are skilled and hard-working and we want to do everything we can to help them find jobs as quickly as possible,” Wilcox said.

JELD-WEN executive vice president Dan Malicki has decided to engage the services of NextJob, a national outplacement company whose employment coaches are skilled in helping job seekers use the latest technologies and job search methods. Employees will be able to take advantage of this personalized service at no charge.

Employees may also be eligible for government-sponsored retraining programs because the plant closure is due in part to foreign manufacturing’s influences on the wood door market.

“JELD-WEN has appreciated being part of the Oshkosh community since 1998,” Wilcox said. “When economic conditions press companies to make tough decisions like shutting down a plant, it is of course hardest on the employees and their families. But JELD-WEN is a privately held company that is owned by our employee shareholders and retired employee shareholders. So the decision to close a plant is not done lightly, and is intended to ensure future viability in this changing global market.”

JELD-WEN operates a window division in Hawkins, Wis., which has some employees on temporary layoff, but that window plant is not closing. False news reports of the employee layoffs becoming permanent in Hawkins circulated last month, but the plant anticipates returning unscheduled employees to active work as the building season gets into full swing.

JELD-WEN anticipates selling its Oshkosh properties, which are located in an area where waterfront development has been discussed.

“We’re open to exploring with the city and local economic development interests the best way possible to market and sell the property,” said Jason DeVries, who oversees JELD-WEN’s real estate.

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