January 17, 2008
Brick plant closing
After serious consideration of available options and alternatives, Acme Brick Company has made the difficult decision to temporarily discontinue operations at the Holly Springs brick production facility, effective January 31.
Management said the decision is based on economic factors specific to this plant, which is located at 700 Highway 7 North. Employees were notified of the decision on Wednesday, Jan. 9.
The temporary closure of the facility will affect approximately 26 employees. This decision was made only after a thorough analysis and review of the plant’s current demand for products and prospects.
“While our employees at Holly Springs have done everything that has been asked of them, the current downturn in the residential construction market does not justify continuing to operate the plant at this time,” said Ed Watson, vice president of production. “The current housing market for new construction is the worst since 1981.”
This is the third plant that Acme has been forced to close within the last year.
Acme has developed a plan to provide the markets currently served with brick from the Holly Springs plant to be supplied with bricks that are similar in size and appearance from other Acme brick plants.
“We are disappointed with the effect this plant’s temporary closure will have on our dedicated Holly Springs plant employees,” Watson said.
“Limited employment opportunities may be available for some of our dislocated employees within Acme Brick Company. Some of the existing employees will be offered dispatching, loading, maintenance and security positions at the plant. We plan on continuing the operation of a shipping and receiving yard located at the plant.
“We will work with the Mississippi Department of Labor’s Local Employment Center to coordinate available resources in assisting our employees through this difficult transition. When market conditions improve we expect to resume production at Holly Springs at that time.”
He said Acme has no intentions of selling the plant.
“This is temporary,” Watson said. “We have made a substantial investment here. As the demand justifies it, we will start production back up.”
He said approximately eight employees will be retained to maintain the sales and distribution yard and the rest have been offered severance packages and told to stay in contact with the company.
“This is a good group of people, and we will need them at some time in the future,” Watson said.
Acme Brick is the nation’s largest U.S. owned manufacturer of fired clay brick. The company got its start in 1891. It acquired the brick plant in Holly Springs in 2001.
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