The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 19, 2012

Apex Homes in Snyder County lands two contracts, adds 15 jobs

MIDDLEBURG — There hasn’t been much good news in the modular housing manufacturing industry for several years, but Apex Homes is experiencing an upturn and recently hired 15 employees.

After a summer of shortened work weeks because of a decline in orders, the Route 522 company secured two large contracts earlier this month that required the hiring of additional employees.

Lynn Kuhns, recently named president of Apex Homes, said the firm is building units for a senior assisted living complex in West Virginia and will begin building units for a multi-family housing project in Philadelphia in mid-November or early December.

“That will give us a big shot in the arm,” said Kuhns. “We’ll have steady production for three months.”

Apex Homes has weathered many difficulties, including a recession that hit the industry hard for the past five years, and Kuhns has been through it all.

The Snyder County native joined Apex as a salesman 20 years ago, two years after Robert Nipple founded the company.

Kuhns climbed up through the ranks, working as a regional sales manager and vice president of sales. He was serving as the company vice president in fall 2007 when Nipple died.

“Bob had great vision. He was very dedicated to his employees,” Kuhns said, adding that Nipple’s death was a trying time for the company just as the modular housing market slump was starting.

Apex Homes’ peak production years were between 2004 and 2006 when it had more than 300 employees.

By 2007, when the housing market slumped, there were 75. The tough economy led Haven Custom Homes in Selinsgrove to close this month, putting about 100 people out of work. The closing came 18 months after the Maryland-based company acquired the struggling Penn Lyon Homes.

Kuhns said some of those laid-off workers were interviewed by Apex, which in the first two weeks of September, added 15 employees.

Today, 105 employees work at the plant and Kuhns credits their hard work and dedication, as well as a willingness to diversify, with keeping Apex in business.

“Our success comes back to our people. They stuck by even when they had opportunities to go other places,” he said.

They stayed on despite the company’s decision to shorten the work week to between 20 and 40 hours this summer, Kuhns said.

Because of the extra work from the two new contracts, employees are now working up to 50 hours a week.

“Right now I feel confident with the business that we can maintain that flow,” Kuhns said.

“Consumer confidence” is a primary factor in whether the industry rebounds, and Kuhns said the company is doing what it can to meet the needs of prospective clients.

That means offering a variety of products, including all price-range residential homes and commercial buildings.

Last year, Apex produced seven high-end single-family homes that were between 4,600 square-feet and 6,600 square-feet, as well as affordable homes, a bank, doctor’s office and day care facility.

“Diversity is key,” Kuhns said.

Text Only
  • Porter Another teen says he threw rock on I-80, too

    MIFFLINBURG — The father of the third juvenile charged as an adult in a July 10 rock-throwing attack that left an Ohio woman fighting for her life was apologetic following his son’s arraignment Monday.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victim of rock-throwers making progress

    DANVILLE — Sharon Budd, the 52-year-old Ohio woman fighting for her life after being hit by a rock thrown from an Interstate 80 overpass, is slowly coming around, according to her husband, Randy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Danville train diver left hospital 4 days before suicide

    DANVILLE — The young man who killed himself by diving under an Iron Heritage Festival passenger train underwent treatment in mental health facilities as recently as four days before his death, according to Montour County Coroner Scott E. Lynn.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mayor's dog recovering from attack

    DANVILLE — Bernie and Red Swank have two different routes they take daily when they walk their dogs, and at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday in the 200 block of Water Street, a German shepherd attacked Lex, their white 5-year-old lhasa apso.

    July 21, 2014

  • Basic subsidy for Lewisburg schools down slightly

    LEWISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed executive budget will provide the Lewisburg Area School District with an additional $90,457 from the state, but most of the increase will be reflected in $125,275 to support a Ready to Learn grant.

    July 21, 2014

  • Shikellamy extend deadline for school project

    The Shikellamy District board agreed at a special meeting last Thursday, to extend until Sept. 5, the deadline for the receipt of bid documents for the $17 million Shikellamy Middle School project. Bids were originally scheduled to be opened Tuesday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Second juvenile charged as adult in rock-throwing incident

    MIFFLINBURG — A second juvenile was charged as an adult Monday morning for his alleged involvement a July 10 rock-throwing incident that left an Ohio woman fighting for her life.

    July 21, 2014

  • Midd-West to hire Snook's replacement tonight

    Newport School District’s director of educational services is slated to be hired tonight by the Midd-West School Board to fill the vacant director of curricular and instruction position.

    July 21, 2014

  • rgbcar20abw.jpg My 1st Car Photo Contest Winner

    Maxton Mielke, Sunbury, won the My 1st Car photo contest this week. Photos can be entered in this week's contest: Pet lookalike at Look for the Outshoot the Experts contest and submit your best photos! Photos can also be submitted on our facebook page or via Instagram and Twitter with #dipets.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Buildup of extraordinary circumstantial evidence" against Russia

    Video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site. Imagery showing the firing. Calls claiming credit for the strike. Recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site.

    July 21, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.