Champion Homes plant with 93 employees set to close in March

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 16, 2014

SALISBURY — Champion Homes will close its Carolina Building Solution plant on Ryan Patrick Drive in March.
Some of the 93 employees at the plant will have the chance to relocate to other Champion facilities, including the plant in Lillington, which Champion is consolidating with the Salisbury plant.
Salisbury plant manager Jeff Mooring, who is moving to the Lillington plant, said he hopes to find as many jobs as possible for his employees but does not know yet how many positions will be open or created.
The Lillington plant will add positions after the consolidation, but no number has been set, Mooring said. Staff members from Lillington are expected to be in Salisbury today to discuss adding jobs at their plant, he said.
The Salisbury plant, which manufactures modular homes, has been in operation for about 17 years and had annual sales last year of $14 million, Mooring said.
“Yesterday, we informed our Salisbury employees, as well as our retailers and trade partners, that we would be consolidating operations into our Lillington plant with a targeted date of March 14,” CEO Jack Lawless wrote Tuesday in a memo to employees. “While this was a difficult decision, we determined that the market for our products could be more effectively served from the Lillington, N.C. facility.”
During the next 60 days, Lawless said Champion will work with the employees to help them transition or possibly transfer to other locations, Lawless said.
“As we work through this transition, please acknowledge the contribution our Salisbury employees have made to our company and continue to provide the support to the plant as needed,” he said.
Champion, which was founded 56 years ago in Michigan, has produced more than 1.7 million factory-built homes throughout North America.
“I feel for the employees here,” Mooring said. “Hopefully they can find something locally, or transfigure inside of Champion would be the best thing.
“A lot of them are very talented people, and we would like to hang on to their knowledge and talent.”
The Salisbury plant in 2012 manufactured a home for the House United Project, which brought together Republicans and Democrats during their nominating conventions in Tampa and Charlotte.
Convention-goers in both cities worked alongside TV personality Ty Pennington to finish the house halves.
When construction was complete, the halves were “united” when they were delivered and installed on a lot in Charlotte. The completed home was donated to a military veteran.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.