Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

December 10, 2007

MasterBrand, Elixir shutting down; 230 jobs will be lost

Two long-time Cumberland County manufacturers will be closing their doors soon, leaving about 230 workers without jobs.

MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc. announced Thursday it will be closing the Crossville facility in February 2008, leaving more than 200 employees without work.

Elixir Industries announced it will be closing Dec. 31, leaving about 30 workers without jobs.

James Perry confirmed reports of the closings and said the employees would be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. MasterBrand Cabinets employees may be eligble for additional assistance through federal Trade Adjustment Assistance, but the United States Department of Labor would have to make that determination. A decision could be made in six to eight weeks.

Both manufacturers are involved in the housing industry. MasterBrand Cabinets produced components used to manufacture the company's stock, semi-custom and custom lines of cabinetry. Elixir Industries manufactures doors and windows.

Greg Stoner, president of MasterBrand Cabinets, said in a press release, "Given the prolonged downturn in the housing market, we had to better balance our capacity with customer demand. This will allow us to remain competitive in this challenging environment."

Charles Lewis, office manager for Elixir Industries, said, "The company has made a decision to consolidate door manufacturing in Douglas, GA."

Bob Powers, national sales coordinator for Elixir, told the Chronicle the move would allow the company to remain competitive with Chinese-made imports.

MasterBrand said it would be working with affected employees during the coming months and offering transition packages and outplacement sources.

"We understand the negative consequences this decision has on our associates. We are committed to helping them through this transition to alternate employment," Stoner added. "We thank the dedicated individuals here for their contributions. This should in no way reflect their performance; the decision was driven by the marketplace."

The release stated MasterBrand will evaluate the potential sale of the building, at 656 Interstate Dr.

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