2009-06-25 / Front Page

JLG Closing N. Dakota Facility

Will convert Bedford plant; Aug. production shutdown here
By Lindsay R. Mellott STAFF WRITER

Continued weak demand for its access equipment products has forced JLG Industries to implement a restructuring plan that closes its Oakes, N.D., plant and converts its Bedford Sunnyside manufacturing facility to a JLG warehouse.

The company says that the restructuring plan will help further reduce costs and streamline JLG's operations. It affects 154 employees in North America.

Sixty-five positions are impacted by the Sunnyside conversion, but JLG said in a statement June 18 that it anticipates 42 of those positions will be retained either in Bedford or transferred to another location.

JLG's Sunnyside plant manufactures one of the company's scissor lift models, vertical products, trailer mounts and assembles engines and telehandler cabs.

The company's Bedford Weber Lane facility, which rebuilds JLG products, is not affected by the restructuring plan.

The remaining 61 employees at the North Dakota plant, which has lost more than 100 workers over the last year, will lose their jobs Sept. 24 when the plant closes. JLG will relocate North Dakota production, which includes the manufacture of hydraulic valves, to other JLG sites, with eight jobs added in Pennsylvania and 17 in Ohio, the statement said.

JLG also announced plans to shut down production at the McConnellsburg and Shippensburg plants the month of August. Production workers have a return-to-work target date of Sept. 8.

Another move that affects workers in McConnellsburg is the relocation of the welding operation in the Fulton County Business Park to other JLG Pennsylvania and Ohio sites. The vacated facility will be maintained as an engineering research and development center for aerial work platforms.

"These were difficult decisions but necessary for the company to operate during these global recessionary conditions," said Craig Paylor, JLG president and executive vice president of JLG's parent company, Wisconsin based Oshkosh Corp. "JLG has made significant changes is our business to reduce our overall cost structure, better align our production schedules with sales forecasts and position our company for improved overall performance."

Layoffs that result from the restructing are indefinite, JLG said. A number of affected workers will have transfer options when the changes are implemented. According to the company, JLG is actively exploring potential employment opportunities with other Oshkosh business segments.

JLG's restructuring news came less than two weeks after its June 9 announcement that a $76.9 million contract to rebuild U.S. Army telehandlers would call back 60 workers laid off from its Military Support Center.

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