Andersen eliminates 52 positions at Wis. plantby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
The Andersen Corporation today announced it will cut 52 jobs at its Menomonie, Wisc., plant. The production and officeworkers will each receive severance packages and assistance finding new jobs. Company officials did not release details of the severance packages.
St. Paul, Minn. — The Wisconsin plant produces the 200 Series, a mid-priced line of windows and doors designed for large volume builders. Company spokesperson Maureen McDonough said this sector of the housing market has been hardest hit by the economic downturn.
Affected employees will be offered a severance package and other help with job transition. The Bayport, Minn.-based company says it's also partnering with the state of Wisconsin to coordinate additional resources and retraining services.
The housing market has seen its third year of steady decline, from a high of more than 2 million new housing starts nationwide to about 800,000 in 2008. Experts are forecasting additional declines of up to 15 percent for 2009. McDonough said the credit crunch is also behind the decision to cut jobs at the plant.
"People don't have the wherewithall to get the loans if they do want to purchase a house," McDonough said. "There is a lot of excess inventory of new and existing homes and there is a lack of confidence that home values have hit their bottom so a lot of people are just waiting."
The cuts represent about 20 percent of the Menomenie plant's workforce. Andersen also recently announced it plans to close its North Carolina factory in December, one of the 22 factories the company has nationwide.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)