Senators Applaud Return of Workers at Simonton
More than 400 full-time and seasonal employees laid off since 2008 have been asked to rejoin Simonton Windows at its manufacturing locations in West Virginia and Illinois. Given the current high unemployment rate, that news is attracting the attention of elected officials, who are pointing to the window maker's success as a sign of the effectiveness of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“The stimulus bill we passed earlier this year has made it possible for companies like Simonton to reopen their doors and put people back to work,” says Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. “With tax credits and incentives for green initiatives, the Recovery Act has recreated a market for energy efficient materials that had virtually disappeared during the economic downturn. Simonton wasted little time in taking advantage of this new demand, and the company is now able to bring jobs back to Illinois and support our local economy.”
“Simonton Windows is a great company and an important employer in our state–I am encouraged by their commitment to rehire workers and offer new and promising opportunities,” adds U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller. “The energy tax credit we included in the Recovery Act was designed to encourage people to make their homes more energy efficient, while also creating new jobs and jumpstarting economic growth. Today, with this terrific news, we’re seeing that the stimulative effect of the tax credit is really working in West Virginia–and putting West Virginians back to work.”
At Simonton’s facility in Paris, Ill., 139 employees were laid off in late 2008 and early 2009. Now, each of these employees has been offered their position back, plus the company is actively looking to hire 30 more people. “We have been calling employees back to work on a regular basis during the last four months as business needs increase,” says Andy Shashlo, VP operations. “While some employees had already located other jobs during the layoff timeframe, a vast majority have now returned to work at our operations.”
In Simonton’s facilities in West Virginia, 263 employees were laid off during late 2008 and early 2009. All employees in good standing have been asked to come back to work, plus the company anticipates filling an additional 25 seasonal positions by the end of September.
“Business has picked up this summer, allowing us to return former employees back to work and offer new jobs to more people,” says Mark Savan, Simonton president. “Part of the business increase relates to seasonal demand for windows that we traditionally see during the second and third quarters of the year. However, this year we’re also seeing first-hand that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is having a positive impact on window sales. This homeowner stimulus package is succeeding in motivating consumers to invest in energy-efficient replacement windows and doors to gain a tax credit. Many of our customers nationwide are experiencing positive sales results related to the tax credit incentive. The stimulative effect of the consumer tax credit means we are in a position to rehire employees in our manufacturing facilities, along with hiring additional seasonal workers during the third quarter.”
In addition to the positive effect of the federal tax credit, Simonton officials also point out as contributors to its recent success the recently introduced Supercept, an energy-efficient, stainless alloy spacer system offering enhanced thermal performance, as well as the Decorum by Simonton collection, featuring interior laminates and new hardware styling options. Savan notes that, while overall business conditions remain very challenging, his company is ahead of the market.
“We’re gaining market share during a difficult economic time,” says Savan. “Our ongoing commitment to producing quality custom-made products with short, reliable lead-times, combined with exceptional customer support, has allowed us to outperform our market during these challenging times.”