Sharon manufacturer closing Friday

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Kayla Bunge
August 28, 2008
— The downturn in the housing market has reached the Sharon branch of Automated Building Components, a small manufacturer and supplier of roof and floor trusses.

The company is closing Friday, and 50 people will lose their jobs, said branch manager Bob Steckroat.

He said the real estate slump has hurt the Sharon branch of the company because it’s isolated from related businesses.

“We’re all by ourselves out here,” Steckroat said. “In other locations, there are lumber facilities, truss plants, wall panel plants, framing companies and millwork companies to support each other. They all work together.”

The Automated Building Components facility at 200 Old Factory Road is one of five branches. The company’s truss division has plants in Sharon, Chetek and Montrose, Minn. Its millwork division is in Chanhassen, Minn. Its kitchens division is in Excelsior, Minn.

The Sharon branch since 1994 has manufactured roof and floor trusses and supplied them to lumber dealers and large builders in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Steckroat said none of the 50 employees is being offered jobs at the company’s other branches. When asked whether the employees would receive severance pay upon the plant’s closing Friday, he said, “The company is taking care of the employees.”

Automated Building Components isn’t alone in feeling the effects of a sluggish economy, Steckroat said.

“It’s happening all over,” he said.

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