PELLA, Iowa----Pella Corporation has announced the layoff of 198 workers at its plants in Iowa and Oregon because of the prolonged recession in the housing industry. EFCO Corporation, a Pella company, in Monett, did not experience job reductions.
Officials with the Pella, Iowa-based window and door company said Wednesday that workers will be laid off at its plants in Carroll, Sioux Center, Shenandoah and Pella, as well as in Portland, Ore.
In late October, Pella offered incentives to employees who took early retirement or voluntarily left the company. The company also said it was closing a plant in West Columbia, S.C., which employs 145 people.
Pella spokeswoman Kathy Krafka Harkema says the layoffs are the result of low consumer confidence, tighter access to home loans and the volatile economy, which continues to hamper the housing market.
In Monett, EFCO has continued production and instituted seasonal adjustments employed in previous years.
"EFCO has done well taking market share and growing our business in 2011," said Mike Farquhar, EFCO president. "We did not have anyone impacted by the involuntary actions referenced in the Pella announcement. Although the commercial construction market is again softer in 2011 and likely to remain flat for some time, EFCO is using creative approaches to manage through a challenging market.
"For example, we are offering leave of absence (LOA) programs during the winter months, which are typically slower for construction-related businesses like ours," Farquhar continued. "The LOA program allows team members to take unpaid time off during the winter season and return to work as construction activity picks up.
"Thanks to our record safety performance in 2011, we're also helping keep more people at work and helping control costs, through a focus on safety in the workplace," said Farquhar. "That's another example of how we're working through the challenging American economy.
"We're also working to control waste in the workplace, which also helps make the best use of resources," Farquhar continued. "For example work supplies are available through vending machines, which helps make sure that team members readily have access to the supplies they need like work gloves, protective eyewear, etc., without carrying excess inventory or having to have a person physically manage a stockpile of supplies.
"We've also worked to improve the energy efficiency of our facility, saving on utilities, to keep our focus on keeping team members at work, providing valuable jobs that help fuel the Monett area economy," Farquhar added.