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Stoughton Trailers recalls 6 workers

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JAMES P. LEUTE
August 8, 2009
— While the numbers are small, the fact that Stoughton Trailers is recalling employees laid off earlier this year is cause for celebration.

The manufacturer that has laid off more than 700 people in the last two years announced Thursday that it is bringing back six workers to help with orders that have filled the manufacturing schedule until Oct. 23.


“Today I can say its six people; maybe next week I can say it’s up to 10,” said Patrice Gillespie, the company’s vice president of human resources. “The fact that we’re going in the right direction is what I am calling a ‘woo-hoo’ moment for this company.”


Gillespie said the recalled workers will return to the company’s Stoughton plant and not the Brodhead facility that is designed for high-speed production of the company’s stock trailers.


Gillespie said recent orders are more tailored to custom work that is the specialty of the Stoughton facility and its workers.


Stoughton Trailers designs, manufacturers and markets conventional and intermodal transportation. It offers vans, platform trailers, converter dollies, grain haulers and flatbeds.


The company also maintains a parts inventory with dealers in the United States and Canada.


President Ken Wahlin said in a news release that he is uncertain if the recent orders will support a sustainable recovery.


“We are guardedly optimistic,” he said. “We continue to see poor industry conditions, but there are some positive signs.”


Since 2007, the company’s employment has fallen to fewer than 300 workers, Gillespie said.


Stoughton Trailers is the fourth-largest truck trailer manufacturer in North America. Headquartered in Stoughton, it has been locally owned and operated for nearly 50 years.



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