Vinylmax and Assa Abloy to Close Plants, Shed 131 EmployeesJanuary 24th, 2024 by Drew Vass, Executive Editor
Home sales are expected to rise and experts predict anywhere from a 5% to 9% growth rate in single-family construction in 2024. But that hasn’t stopped two companies from announcing closures in recent days, including one plant in New York and another in North Carolina.
Officials for Assa Abloy submitted a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice to the North Carolina Department of Commerce last week, informing the state that it will close its facility on Choate Circle in Charlotte. Monday, officials for Vinylmax Windows notified [DWM] that they’re closing a plant located in Clifton Park, New York.
The Assa Abloy closure affects 87 employees, the company’s WARN notice said.
Vinylmax is working with surrounding counties in New York to help 44 employees find other opportunities, officials said.
The closure of Assa Abloy’s plant in Charlotte is expected to be permanent. The first layoffs will include 20 employees, occurring on or about March 22, 2024, or the two weeks that follow. Additional layoffs will occur between then and the final closure date of July 28, 2024. According to officials, no union represents the affected employees, and there are no “bumping rights” (the right to avoid termination by displacing another employee).
When [DWM] reached out to Assa Abloy, asking about the cause of its closure, the company failed to comment.
As for the facility in Clifton Park, New York, Vinylmax, an Ohio-based company, purchased the former PVC Industries plant in 2019, after which it underwent revamping. The closure is largely about refocusing resources, a company official told [DWM]. The decision stems from “changes in economic market conditions,” company officials said, and challenges associated with further upgrades to its New York facility.
Vinylmax announced a $4 million expansion for its Ohio facility in December 2021, at the time expecting the add-on to be ready in 2023. With an additional 150,000 square feet on the way, “duplicating those investments in New York is challenging from a return-on-investment standpoint,” Nick Collins, the company’s marketing manager, told [DWM].
“The demand for windows and doors has slowed down since the peak experienced during the COVID years,” Collins said. “This leaves excess capacity in the industry, creating price pressure. To achieve the economies of scale that would mitigate market pricing pressures, further investment would be required in technology and automation.”
Following the closure in New York, the company plans to absorb business volume at its newly expanded plant in Ohio.
“We believe strongly in the attractive, long-term technology investments in our Ohio facility, which give us the flexibility to meet our customers’ needs today and in the future,” said Laura Doerger-Roberts, president of Vinylmax. “We will be working with our customers to transfer their business to our flagship facility.”
Workers at the company’s New York plant have been informed of its closure and will be privately informed of individual separation dates and severance arrangements, officials said.
“These are extremely difficult decisions, and we realize these actions will likely have a significant impact on the lives of our dedicated employees at the Clifton Park location,” Doerger-Roberts said. “We will work with our employees to assist them through this transition.”