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Fleetwood cuts shift after job finished for FEMA

February 16, 2006|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

WILLIAMSPORT

daniels@herald-mail.com

Fleetwood Travel Trailers of Maryland Inc. in Williamsport eliminated a third shift of about 150 workers after completing its part of an order from the federal government to make 7,500 travel trailers for victims of Hurricane Katrina, a company official said Wednesday.

Williamsport plant General Manager Melinda Ford said 30 workers were laid off last month and the rest of the workers either moved into other jobs or saw their positions cut through attrition, including resignations.

Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. of Riverside, Calif., announced in late September 2005 that it had received $170 million in orders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build the 7,500 trailers and 3,000 single-section manufactured homes. The trailers and homes were to be delivered to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Katrina, which made landfall Aug. 29.

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Ford previously said she expected the plant would make between 800 and 900 trailers for the FEMA order. The plant added a third shift from 9:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. to handle the added workload.

Ford said plant employees are working on a second order of trailers due to FEMA in mid-March.

Fleetwood spokeswoman Amy Coleman said many of the company's plants are still producing FEMA trailers. She previously said the company expected to hire about 1,000 additional workers to fill the initial orders, but she did not know Wednesday how many of those workers remain with the company.

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