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Grove officials hint at job cuts

March 20, 2001

Grove officials hint at job cuts



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


More layoffs may be on the way at Grove Worldwide following the consolidation of the cranemaker's customer support facility in Chambersburg with the main production plant in Shady Grove, Grove chairman Jeffrey D. Bust said in a press release Monday.

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In January, the company announced the permanent layoff of 290 production and office workers. Those cuts ended a year-long series of layoffs that dropped the company's labor force to about 1,400 workers. Grove employed about 2,500 workers in 1990.

Many of the earlier cuts affected workers in Grove's aerial-work platform line, which went through a major downsizing.

Consolidating the customer service function under one roof will streamline customer service, said Keith Simmons, senior vice president.

"All functions of our customer support operations will be in one location. It will enhance our capabilities to serve our customers," Simmons said

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The Grove plant on Wayne Avenue in Chambersburg employs about 110 workers, Simmons said. Layoffs could result from duplication of positions in Chambersburg and Shady Grove once the consolidation is complete, Simmons said. He said he didn't know how many, if any, jobs would be affected. "There probably will be some reductions where it makes sense," he said.

Employees in Chambersburg were told in January that the consolidation was being studied.

"The study indicated positive effects from the move and plans are now under way for the move itself," the release said.

Grove is unique in the industry for providing parts for any company-made machine, the release said. The machine shop in the customer support facility will be combined with the Shady Grove plant's "Quick Turn" sheet metal shop to form a new Service Response Shop. That shop will produce parts for older machines, the release said.

"Grove is committed to providing our customers the best support in the industry," Bust said in the release. "We are certain that our customers will see improved response as we consolidate our operations on one site. Our logistics and internal communications will be enhanced. This will allow us to provide even faster response times to meet the demanding needs of our distributors and customers."

Space became available for the consolidation in the Shady Grove plant as a result of Grove's recently completed factory improvement project.

In December, Grove announced it would spend $14 million to modernize its production lines.

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