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CB&K Supply brings some workers back

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Gazette Staff
February 18, 2009

Less than three weeks after laying off a significant portion of its workforce, a Janesville business has called several employees back to work.


In late January, CB&K Supply laid off 29 of its 43 people. In recent weeks, however, the company has brought about 10 of them back, said owner Larry Cohen.


“We’re rightsizing for this economy,” Cohen said Tuesday.


CB&K dates to 1907 and is one of Janesville’s oldest businesses. A wholesale supplier of plumbing and industrial materials, it moved in 2007 from downtown Janesville to an 83,000-square-foot building on Whitney Street.


Like other building material companies, CB&K Supply has been hit hard by the economic downturn and the decline in housing starts.


Cohen said the company hired a consultant who crunched the numbers and came up with a plan to help CB&K weather the downturn and position itself for the rebound.


“It’s still a slow market, but the consultant said we could pull through this,” Cohen said. “We let our inventories run down, and now we’re bringing them back up, which will take two or three weeks.”



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