Manufacturer JELD-WEN lays off 80 employees in Windsor County

Updated at 7:11 pm

A large Windsor County employer laid off 80 employees on Wednesday and plans to close its Springfield facility.

The global manufacturer of doors and windows informed the 192 employees at its Ludlow and North Springfield facilities of the layoffs on Wednesday, said Caryn Klebba, head of global public relations for JELD-WEN.

While the majority of the layoffs were effective immediately, some staff were asked to stay on during the transition. Klebba said the company plans to lay off approximately 10 additional employees, reducing its Vermont workforce to about 100.

The company has not yet determined its timeline for closing the North Springfield facility, she said.

ELD-WEN has been engaging in a comprehensive effort to “modernize and optimize” its operations over the past few years, according to Klebba, and had identified “significant operational and cost-efficiencies” by consolidating the two Vermont operations.

“While these decisions are not easy, we did so only after careful consideration and with the understanding that our actions today are necessary to position JELD-WEN for future growth,” she said.

Laid off workers are being provided with 60 days of regular salary and benefits along with severance payments based on their length of service, according to Klebba.

An employee who was laid off from JELD-WEN’s North Springfield facility yesterday spoke to VTDigger on the condition of anonymity, citing concerns about jeopardizing his severity package.

“This came as a shock to all of us,” the employee said, adding that the facility had been “crazy busy” during Covid and had hired a “whole bunch” of workers. Recently, he said, work had died down and a lot of product had been moved out of the building and to other plants, but management “just kept telling us it was going to pick back up.”

Klebba said that while there have been some constraints on JELD-WEN’s supply chain due to the pandemic, that was not a determining factor in the layoffs.

JELD-WEN acquired the Ludlow location in 1994 and began its operations in North Springfield in 2007, according to Klebba.

Jason Maulucci, a spokesperson for Gov. Phil Scott, said in an email Thursday afternoon that the Department of Labor and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development have been in contact with JELD-WEN and are gathering more information.

A Department of Labor spokesperson confirmed this and said the department would provide more details as they become available.

The department has “begun the process of coordinating Rapid Response services, which will be provided to any and all individuals impacted through this layoff,” Kyle Thweatt wrote in an email.

Thweatt noted that workers seeking re-employment support services can contact the department’s workforce development division at 802-289-0999 or online at Labor.Vermont.gov/Jobs. Those seeking unemployment insurance can contact the unemployment insurance division at 1-877-214-3332.

Correction: Due to inaccurate information initially provided by JELD-WEN, an earlier version of this story misstated the number of employees laid off Wednesday.

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