Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Wood Mode Kitchens Surprisingly Closes Its Doors

Employees shocked by suddenness of Wood-Mode closure.

Tim and Penny Benner somberly walked out of the Wood-Mode Inc cabinet factory in Kreamer, PA Monday afternoon after being abruptly notified along with nearly 1,000 other employees that the 77-year-old business was closing immediately.

“I’m not surprised because we’ve known for months that something was happening, but I’m shocked that it happened this fast and we didn’t at least get a 60-day notice,” said Tim Benner, a 61-year-old final inspector who has worked at the plant for 41 1/2 years.

Wood-Mode spokesman David Scarr said in a statement that after a deal to sell the company to another firm fell through early last week, officials were notified on Friday that its prime lender was “unwilling to provide normal funding” that would have allowed the custom wood cabinet manufacturing business to continue operating, leaving “no choice but to make the difficult decision to wind down its operations.”

In one instant, Benner and his wife, a 10-year employee, lost both incomes.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” he said as they stood outside the plant consoling other employees who received word at about 2:45 p.m. that they were being permanently laid off.

“I expected to retire here,” said Tammy Heeter, 59, who was employed at Wood-Mode for nearly 20 years. “Now I’m thinking about paying bills and the lack of insurance.”

Six state police troopers, three Snyder County sheriff deputies and Middleburg Borough police were stationed at the plant as employees walked to their cars, many carrying boxes of personal items.

CLICK HERE to read the entire The Daily Item article


Tom Hardiman said...

That is devastating news for this community. I hope that many of these people will consider applying at some of the modular factories nearby and that perhaps someone will grab that factory and reopen it as a modular facility.

Its hard to find good workers and it sounds like a whole bunch of them just hit the streets and need some help.

Bill Hart said...

Most of us in the building trades in this provincial area knew of course that Wood Mode custom cabinetry was ultra high end. Once or twice in some fifty some semi customs I did back when in NCPA did anyone even consider their product for in my mid and entry level products I built.

Could that have been part of their demise? ie local folks vision of their affordability vs their reasonable doable budgets? Lesson learned, maybe?

Coach said...

On the plus side, there is a wealth of modular home factories within easy commute for those looking to stay near home and many of them are hiring.

It's one of those “When one door closes, another opens” situations.

Tom Hardiman said...

Gary - agreed! We have reached out to 8-10 nearby modular manufactures to see if any are interested in hiring and several are. We are also reaching out to the local workforce housing agency and state lawmakers to let them know of the interest. I'm certain our industry can put some of these folks back to work.

Anon said...

Many were already hired by local modular companies. Alot of skilled workers now available where it was difficult to find people to fill open positions.