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JLG to recall workers

February 26, 2002|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

JLG Industries said Monday it will close a production plant in Ohio and move work from there to the company's McConnellsburg facility.

The company said it would recall 310 workers, 220 of them immediately, who were laid off from three Pennsylvania locations, including the Fulton County, Pa., plant

Sam Swope, vice president of human resources at JLG, said workers to be recalled now include 150 in McConnellsburg, 40 at Shippensburg, Pa., and 30 in Bedford, Pa. A few new workers are to be hired at Shippensburg.

The rest of the laid-off workers will be recalled over the next few months, Swope said.

Two years ago, there were about 2,000 workers on JLG's payroll in McConnellsburg. Today, the plant has about 1,200 workers, Swope said.

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The company said it will close its Gradall Industries plant in Orrville, Ohio, this summer. The production of telescopic material handlers will be moved from Gradall to JLG's main production plant in McConnellsburg, the company said.

The shutdown of the Ohio facility will cost about 190 employees their jobs, although nearly 90 of them are expected to find jobs in the McConnellsburg plant.

"The McConnellsburg facility, which currently produces our larger aerial products, has the infrastructure, capacity and skilled team members to support our aggressive telehandler growth projections," Bill Lasky, JLG president and chief executive officer, said in a written release.

JLG bought Gradall Industries in 1999 for $280 million.

Company officials blamed slowing product demand for the decision to close the Orrville plant.

JLG is a leading manufacturer of aerial work platforms, both boom and scissors types, used to lift workers to job sites. Telescopic material handlers lift materials to the work site.

"This is a new product for McConnellsburg," Swope said.

"It's our view that the recession has bottomed out," Swope said. The company is looking forward to a better year, he said.

Last week, JLG announced consolidated revenues for the fiscal second quarter of $156 million, down from last year's record revenues of $230 million.

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