U.S. Senator Bob Casey wants to know how the owners of Wood-Mode were able to abruptly close the Kreamer plant on May 13 and layoff 938 employees without warning.
"Common sense and decency would dictate that a community that gave so much to this company would have more warning," Casey said in a conference call Thursday morning with local employers and business leaders. "What's particularly disturbing is not just the suddenness but the fact that the company is allowed to do this. How is a company allowed to just pull up stakes?"
Art Thomas, chairman of the Early Learning Investment Committee of Susquehanna River Valley, asked the senator if his office would be able to reach out to the company owners for a statement.
"I don't know how they would respond but it is something we will pursue," said Casey.
Wood-Mode owners Robert and Brooks Gronlund have not spoken publicly since the employees were handed a written statement on Monday, May 13 and notified of the immediate plant closure.
Neither of the Gronlunds nor spokesman David Scarr have responded to repeated calls from The Daily Item.
"I can't even imagine the kind of nuclear bomb" that has hit the rural community as a result of the 77-year-old Snyder County plant's closure and the massive job loss. "This is like a big city losing 100,000 jobs or more."
As he and others look to answer the question of how such a respected well-established company failed, Casey said the focus now has to be on the displaced workers.
"I hope you can seriously consider hiring these skilled employees," he told employers listening in.
This is a developing stories. More details will be posted when they become available.