KREAMER, Pa. -- One of the largest employers in one county in our area suddenly told workers it is closing and laying off all of its workers.
Wood-Mode announced on Monday it is closing its plant in Kreamer, effective immediately. All its employees are losing their jobs.
Snyder County's largest employer closed its doors abruptly Monday afternoon. Employees say 900 people worked at Wood-Mode. Workers said a job there meant stability because the plant has been around for almost 80 years.
Keith Lauver, along with hundreds of others, learned unexpectedly that Monday was his last day. He spent more than 40 years with the company.
"I worked there since I was 20. It was a good place to work. It was a nice family company. Everybody knew everybody," Lauver said.
Employees said they were called into a meeting Monday afternoon to let them know the plant is closing. Some will come back later in the week to finish any outstanding projects.
"I could see that everybody was just stunned. I just left. I was surprised when I went outside I saw there was a police presence," Lauver said.
Employees were also given a letter to explain the abrupt closure. The letter indicated that Wood-Mode made the sudden decision to close after a potential sale fell through and the company lost its financing.
Vice President of Human Resources, David Scarr wrote: "All of us are extremely appreciative for your contributions. We would like to thank you for your commitment and service to Wood-Mode throughout the years."
"I'm at retirement age, so you know, but I have co-workers that have four children. I just think about what they have to go through," Lauver said.
In a statement e-mailed to Newswatch 16 about the sudden Wood-Mode closure, Governor Tom Wolf wrote,
"This is devastating news for these workers, their families and the Snyder County community, and I am thinking of all those affected today. I know from visiting there that Wood-Mode was more than an employer, it was part of the community. We are working to find out more details of this sudden announcement. My administration will begin immediately identifying ways that we can help these workers."
A rapid response team from the Department of Labor and Industry will be meeting with former Wood-Mode employees to help them find another job.