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Andersen to Restructure and Cut 250 Jobs
July 16, 2009

Andersen Corp. announced on July 14 that it will reduce its management and office staff by approximately 250 people as a result of internal restructuring. Although some workers previously laid off were brought back in May due to seasonal increases, and other factors, it wasn't enough to prevent the cutbacks. The company, which employs nearly 11,000 people across North America, says this will occur through a combination of early retirements, attrition, open positions and job eliminations. The majority of these reductions will be from its staff in the Bayport, Minn., area.

"While we had every hope and intention of riding out this market correction without making adjustments like this, it has become clear that these actions are necessary to protect the company's financial strength and flexibility given the fading prospects for a near-term housing market recovery," said Jay Lund, president of the Andersen Window and Door Group.

In January 2009, Andersen temporarily laid off nearly 600 production workers due to lower order volume. By the end of May, those employees had been called back in response to seasonal demand, a series of sales and marketing initiatives and increased orders attributed to the federal tax credit for energy efficient replacement doors and windows.

However, it wasn't enough to keep all Andersen workers employed and Lund attributes this to two main reasons, which makes the reductions necessary.

"There is mounting evidence that housing demand will not recover until late 2010 or 2011 as a result of rising unemployment, escalating foreclosures, falling home prices, limited credit and weak consumer confidence," said Lund. "This significantly reduces our opportunity to generate the level of sales needed to profitably support a company of this size."

He said the second factor is related to Andersen's structure.

"Over the last decade, we've invested in improved technology, and we've strategically acquired a number of businesses that have been key to meeting customer needs with an expanded product portfolio. We've already integrated or restructured some functions to improve coordination and eliminate significant redundancies, and given the environment we're now in, we've chosen to accelerate further integration efforts. All of this has enabled us to support the business needs with a leaner management and support staff. "

Employees affected by the permanent job eliminations will be provided with severance pay, benefit continuation as well as help with future job searches. In addition, they can apply for state unemployment benefits, according to the company.

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