KREAMER, Pa. - Custom cabinet manufacturer Wood-Mode is set to return to full operations this week. All 393 employees will come back.
Wood-Mode has been operating under a state-granted emergency order for around two weeks, allowing it to complete emergency orders. Fifty employees are working to fill these orders currently.
The company must enforce social distancing policies upon its reopening, which means employees must wear face masks and maintain at least six feet of separation. The company's human resources manager told WNEP News that this won't be a problem, as the 1.5 million square foot plant will provide plenty of room for the nearly 400 employees.
The saga of cabinetry giant Wood-Mode made big headlines in 2019. First came the shutdown and the layoff of 938 employees. Then came its reopening under Pennsylvania-based Professional Building Systems owner Bill French.
Employees were shocked when they were suddenly out of a job last May. The news rattled the industry. Lawsuits were launched by former employees. The county struggled to find work for the displaced employees and dealers voiced their disappointment in the company's lack of communication. Uemployement rate for the county rose to 6.1 percent, the highest in Pennsylvania.
When the plant closed May 13, many orders were placed in limbo and dealers were left in uncertainty. French has reached out to dealers, who have mostly reacted positively to his ownership, he said. But damage has been done.
“We realize the name has been somewhat tarnished by the closure,” French told PennLive. “We have to build that trust back.”
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