Jeld-Wen plant closing

Stock photo

The Jeld-Wen Holding Inc. interior and exterior door facility in Lexington will close in December, putting 135 employees out of work, according to a WARN notice to the N.C. Commerce Department.

The notice was filed Monday with some jobs being eliminated immediately at the 647 Hargrave Road plant.

Although the notice listed a Dec. 27 closing date, Jeld-Wen said in a statement Tuesday that the closing could occur as early as Dec. 13.

“The entire facility will be closed and all employees at the facility will be impacted,” Jeld-Wen said in the notice.

All employees have been informed of their separation dates.

The eliminated job positions include lay-up assembler and support (27), general production (24) and cell assemblers (17).

The plant had as many as 195 employees as recently at November 2016.

The federal Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notice Act requires companies to notify Commerce and local elected officials of mass layoffs of more than 50 employees. Affected workers are to be given notice of a potential closing at least 60 days in advance.

The act provides certain benefits to laid-off workers, such as 60 days of pay and benefit contributions if the closing is immediate, as well as access to COBRA insurance benefits for 60 days. It also triggers emergency employment and job-training services from Commerce.

“The closure is part of our global footprint rationalization and modernization program, which is designed to build efficiencies in our network and improve service and quality for our customers,” Jeld-Wen said in its media statement.

“We have a comprehensive program in place to either retain talent or assist our employees with outplacement services as they transition from the company. The Lexington facility closure will support our value of improving daily by doing everything we can to advance the way we operate and do business,” the company said.

The closing announcement came 18 days after Jeld-Wen, based in Charlotte, issued a third-quarter earnings warning of a projected 3.9% revenue decline to $1.09 billion compared with a year ago.

The company forecast a potential 2% revenue decline for fiscal 2019.

“I am disappointed in our preliminary results for the third quarter, primarily driven by soft demand in North America and further deterioration in housing activity in Australasia,” Gary Michel, Jeld-Wen’s president and chief executive, said in an Oct. 10 statement.

“Profitability was impacted by the lower volumes, as well as manufacturing inefficiencies in our North America windows business, caused by continued erratic ordering activity in the retail channel, where we were unable to adjust our cost structure within the quarter to support the unexpected demand patterns.”

“We delivered core margin expansion in Europe driven by positive price and productivity, partially offsetting the North America and Australasia performance.”

Michel said Jeld-Wen is engaging in addressing the manufacturing inefficiencies.

“I recently visited several of these facilities and believe we have the right processes and controls in place to improve performance,” Michel said. “Additionally, we are also working with our retail customers to normalize their orders and support their demand patterns.

“I believe the issues that impacted our third-quarter results underscore the urgency to continue to implement our strategy, reduce our cost structure, eliminate complexity in our operations, and increase agility throughout the organization.”

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