OCTOBER 1, 2019 — GOOD NEWS. COMPANY RE-OPENS AND HIRES 235 FORMER WORKERS.
Wood-Mode, purchased a few months ago by Middleburg, Pennsylvania-based Professional Building Systems has announced that it has hired back 235 former employees since restarting operations a month ago. However, wage levels have dropped by 8 to 10 percent. The company intends to hire additional workers as it clears the pending backlog of orders and seeks to reestablish the company’s reputation for reliability.
Kreamer, Pennsylvania-based Wood-Mode, Inc., a family-owned manufacturer of fine wooden cabinetry, has abruptly shut down operations and laid off all 938 employees without notice. The company’s decision to cease operations was apparently triggered by the failure to find an investor or purchaser for the company. A company spokesperson told employees “All of us are extremely appreciative for your contributions. We would like to thank you for your commitment and service to Wood-Mode throughout the years.” The ripples in the retail cabinetry market and construction industry were widely felt, with some projects facing indefinite delays while contracts seek replacement sources and retailers find alternative options for their customers. For some retailers that devoted their operations to showcasing Wood-Mode products, they are effectively out of business. Hundreds of additional workers may lose their jobs as the impact ripples through the industry.
The real tragedy is that the employees lost their insurance coverage and it is unknown whether or not pensions and benefits were involved.
Hope is still alive as some believe that a consortium of the state of Pennsylvania, retailers, contractors, and others may attempt to re-open the facility. A local investment firm is said to be attempting to purchase the private company’s assets from family owners and has asked for a commitment from employees to buy stock in a new company.
Change is coming. There will always be a tomorrow, no matter how much you may try to ignore it. There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you now wondering, Am I Next?