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
  • Prize claim cost man $1,829

    WINFIELD — Western Union is doing what it can to educate people about the risks in wiring money. An entire section on its website ( is devoted to providing information that might reduce the risk of people falling victim to fraud schemes.

    April 19, 2014

  • Reel good time enjoyed by 200 young anglers

    TREVORTON — It only took about three minutes for J.C. Wallish to reel in his first fish at the Little Shamokin Creek Watershed Association’s annual Youth Trout Derby on Saturday.

    April 19, 2014

  • Elytte Barbour's 'bad trip' put him on the road to prison, friend says

    SUNBURY — A former roommate of slaying suspect Elytte Barbour drove 450 miles from North Carolina to spend 45 minutes in the Northumberland County Prison with his best friend last week, and was not surprised when he heard Barbour say: “I am afraid to spend the rest of my life in jail.”

    April 19, 2014

  • bonehunt20a.jpg 60 dogs battle for biscuits at annual bone hunt

    It was a scene similar to ones playing out all over the nation this weekend: nervous parents holding baskets and bags, watching their little ones search for goodies in the grass.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

    PASCUA YAQUI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. — Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women.

    April 19, 2014

  • Danville parents hope strike ends quickly

    DANVILLE ““ First-grader Madison Wild was sad she missed school Thursday.

    April 19, 2014

  • Schools ask state to waive 180-day rule

    Three area school districts have asked the Pennsylvania Department of Education to add up their hours instead of their days in order to reach the required amount of instruction time in the school year.

    April 19, 2014

  • Former Bucknell star in NBA playoffs

    ATLANTA — It really hit Mike Muscala a few days ago when he was listening to the Nets’ starting lineup at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

    April 19, 2014

  • State: Discard raw milk from Greenfield Dairy

    MIDDLEBURG — Consumers should discard raw milk purchased recently from the Greenfield Dairy of Middleburg, which also has temporarily suspended production after Listeria monocytogenes was discovered in the product following routine testing, the state Department of Agriculture announced today.

    April 18, 2014

  • Penn State police: Three posed nude at Nittany shrine

    STATE COLLEGE — Penn State police say three male students who reportedly posed nude for a photo at the university’s Nittany Lion Shrine face school discipline.

    April 18, 2014

The Daily Marquee

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley


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.