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Grove Worldwide to hire 120

April 16, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

SHADY GROVE, Pa. -- A year after reducing its work force by more than 700 employees, Grove Worldwide plans to hire as many as 120 production employees by the end of June, according to a company official.

Dennis Rooney, America's region vice president of human resources for The Manitowoc Company Inc., said workers who had been let go in 2009 were not being recalled.

The jobs those workers held have been eliminated, Rooney said. The 120 jobs for which the company is hiring are new, he said.

Some of the new employees have started work at the plant east of Greencastle, Pa., Rooney said. The plant is owned by the Manitowoc Crane Group.

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"The intention is to have all new associates come on board gradually," Rooney said. "We will be staffing up, through the end of June."

Plans to hire came in response to a recent increase in demand for production of the mobile cranes manufactured at the plant, Rooney said.

Despite the news of hiring, he said the company is not ready to mark itself as being on the rebound.

"This is still a tough market for mobile cranes," he said. "We did not really see an upturn at the close of the fourth quarter of 2009."

Volatility in that same market forced the company to reduce its work force in 2009 by 765 employees.

Saying the need to increase production employees is only a "slight improvement" for the company and the market, he called news of the hiring "favorable."

"We hope this will be sustainable, but the situation is still tenuous at best," he said.

Job stability won't be a given for the new employees, Rooney said.

The market could make the current hiring a temporary situation, he warned.

"We hope not, but we just don't know," he said.

Manitowoc is Franklin County's third-largest employer behind Letterkenny Army Depot and Summit Health.

Franklin County's historically low unemployment rate took a serious hit from layoffs at Manitowoc and other manufacturing leaders in 2009, according to Ryan Horner, an analyst with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

As of February 2010, the county's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained high at 9.1 percent, according to a news release from the labor department.

"Although we're starting to see signs of recovery, it's not starting to tick back (in local manufacturing) yet," said L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp.

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