Janesville34°

Hufcor laying off 60

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JAMES P. LEUTE
February 12, 2009
— Hufcor, a Janesville manufacturer of operable wall systems, has orders to fill, but depressed global and domestic economies have put building projects on hold or pushed them into 2010.

As a result, Hufcor laid of about 60 people this week, about 15 percent of its 380-person workforce in Janesville.


Pat Whitmore, Hufcor's vice president of human resources, said the employees are on a 60-day layoff and are eligible for state unemployment. The company will reassess its staffing levels in coming weeks, she said.


"It's not that we don't have the work," she said. "We do, but it's been delayed, and we have to adjust to the slowing economy."


Hufcor's wall systems are made at 18 plants and sold in 130 countries. Since its founding in 1900, Hufcor has completed installations at hundreds of convention centers and thousands of hotels.


That global presence has fueled growth in Janesville. About 50 percent of the company's sales are international. The company expects that to grow.


Hufcor has posted growth in the hospitality market, namely with installations at large hotels, gaming facilities and convention centers.


The company hired more than 60 people last year, Whitmore said.


Hufcor tends to operate on the backside of the U.S. economy. When the United States is in recession, Hufcor usually isn't affected for a year to 18 months.


That's because when downturns are officially deemed recessions, building projects are typically well under way.



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