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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Some workers remain after closing of MasterBrand
Monday, August 13, 2012
Not all the local employees of MasterBrand Cabinets lost their jobs Friday.
That was the date set for the closing of the plant in the Patriot Centre industrial park in Henry County. Reached on a business trip to California, Robert Jacobs, MasterBrand’s executive vice president of human resources and spokesman, said he assumed the plant closed because he had not heard otherwise.
However, Jacobs said “a few people will remain (at the local factory) for a little while” to handle tasks such as removing equipment to be taken to the company’s remaining plants.
Nobody could be reached by phone at the plant Friday.
MasterBrand has attributed the closing largely to a sluggish kitchen cabinet market. The Indiana-based company has shut down seven plants in the past six years due to shifts in customers’ demands, according to Jacobs.
MasterBrand was one of the area’s largest employers. The closing results in 335 lost jobs.
The employees affected by the closing will continue to receive pay and benefits for 60 days, Jacobs has said.
MasterBrand hired a firm to help workers prepare resumes and find new jobs.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce will hold a job fair at the National Guard Armory on Commonwealth Boulevard, with the first two hours set aside for MasterBrand employees who lost their jobs.
Jacobs said he knows some local companies have expressed interest in hiring some of these employees, and some workers already have had interviews. He did not know if any have received job offers yet, though.
After learning that MasterBrand was going to close the local plant, most employees maintained a good attitude and kept working, Jacobs said.
“We had very few who just (walked out and) didn’t come back to work,” he said.