Sunday, May 19, 2019

Apex Homes Hires ex-Wood-Mode Employees

Apex Homes of Pennsylvania President Lynn Kuhns is keenly aware of the shock and fear being felt among Wood-Mode officials and former employees in the wake of the Kreamer, PA company's abrupt closure on Monday.

"We went through this several years ago," he said of the financially troubled time endured by the Middleburg company known in 2012 as Apex Homes Inc. "It was on a smaller scale than Wood-Mode, which is a much bigger company."

It was 2012 and Apex, a modular home manufacturer located along Route 522 not far from the Wood-Mode plant, had fallen into bankruptcy just 22 years after it was founded.

A group of Apex managers, including Kuhns, worked with an outside investor and purchased the company in 2014. With the aid of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, the company now operates under the name of Apex Homes of PA and continues to make modular homes and some cabinetry while employing about 130.

In the years leading up to the purchase, Kuhns said, "I never gave the employees false hope. I always gave them the facts; good, bad and indifferent. I did the same thing with builders and vendors."

Keeping an open communication helped weather the storm, he said.

Only one vendor and one builder left for good and on Aug. 1, the company will celebrate five years under the new name.

By maintaining an open dialogue about the difficulties the company was facing, Kuhns said, many of the employees felt they were a part of the process even as the company cut employee pay, eliminated fringe benefits, company picnics and monthly luncheons.

It paid off for the employees who stayed and today Kuhns said he has already hired seven displaced Wood-Mode workers this week and is looking to hire up to a total of 30.

"We've been trying our best to meet with each (of the 100 or so) applicants. We are trying to hire enough to increase our production. We have a backlog right now," he said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of working there a few years,Apex is a great place to work and Lynn is a great person to work for. It is good to see them upgrade there work force. They are a company that can break out and become a great success given the correct work force.