Saturday, October 19, 2019

Ritz-Craft Launching New Line of Affordable Housing, Hiring Additional Workers

Ritz-Craft, a Union County, PA modular home company looks to hire about 60 new employees as it launches a new line of affordable modular housing.

Ritz-Craft Custom Homes of Mifflinburg wants to hire immediately with the goal of reopening a temporarily shuttered plant in less than a month, according to Aaron Hufnagel, digital marketing specialist.

The positions include carpenters and electricians, with Hufnagel encouraging potential workers of all skill levels to apply online at Workers furloughed by the company will be given preference, Hufnagel said. A job fair will be announced at a later date.

“We’re trying to hire people, especially in the Mifflinburg, PA area, and provide people with good jobs,” Hufnagel said. “We need more labor.”

The affordable housing line is named Master-Craft. It emphasizes “affordability and “high-quality solutions for the entry-level market,” according to a company press release.

Hufnagel said wages start at $13.50 hourly and can climb to $19 or higher depending on experience and job type. The shifts are eight hours, five days a week. The company offers up to a 4-percent match on 401k plans and out-of-pocket health plans as low as $15 weekly with a $1,000 deductible.

Bob Delsite, human relations safety director, said the new employees would be trained in Plant 3 before transferring to Plant 2 to work on the new line.

“I need to start hiring now,” Delsite said. “In three to four weeks, we want to have the other plant up and running.”

Ritz-Craft last announced a hiring boom in May 2018, having sought up to 150 new employees, according to a company announcement at the time when it opened a new commercial division, Johns Buckley Construction.

About a year ago, however, the company closed Plant 2, Delsite said.

With new hires on the way for the new product line, Ritz-Craft is renovating the plant to add new tools, catwalks, ceiling and wall jigs along with new employee restrooms, lunchrooms and areas for safety demonstrations and equipment servicing.

“These renovations will allow Master-Craft plans to be built up to 76 feet in length, a full 6 feet longer than previous plans. This additional length directly results in added value to the builder network, who can now offer additional square footage without dramatic increases in pricing or costs associated with transportation,” the release states.

Ritz-Craft’s builder network gave “overwhelming support” of the new line in recent soft launches. According to the release, several builders pre-ordered multiple model homes for Master-Craft.

“In all the markets we serve, we continue to see mortgage rates holding steady, or even declining, while prices of existing homes keep rising. This is great news for current homeowners but can make it difficult for new buyers to enter the market,” said Paul John, Ritz-Craft co-owner and CEO. “With this Master-Craft division, we are returning to the types of products and plans that made Ritz-Craft what we are today. Our focus has been on honoring the heritage of our company and the entire HUD industry while bringing unmatched value to the entry-level market.”


Anonymous said...

To get the real story take a look at all the comments on the Daily Item's article.

Anonymous said...

Why is it Ritz-Craft always has a press release when they hire people, but never when they lay them off 6 months later? I thought they already hired a bunch of personnel a few months ago to build multi-family, now they are back to building mobile homes?

Anonymous said...

HO HUM reopening a plant.

Anonymous said...

Moving to low margin HUD homes in a very crowded segment dominated by much larger national companies will be their final big mistake and downfall. Paul John's huge ego on display again. It's a shame for all the hard workers that depend on professional management. Not uncommon for second generation family companies. kids grow in the business and think they know more than anyone else about what they do. Doing it today is nothing like what it was when Dad started company and they are unprepared.