Simonton Windows Says Goodbye To McAlester

Friday, September 2nd 2011, 3:09 pm
By: News On 6

MCALESTER, Oklahoma -- A window plant in McAlester which employs more than 250 workers will be shutting its doors before the end of the year. 

Simonton Windows is located in the city's industrial park. 

Simonton Windows issued the following news release:

Simonton Windows, one of the nation's leading manufacturers of vinyl windows and doors, has restructured its manufacturing operations in order to more accurately align capacity with marketplace demand.

In response to the sustained downturn in the housing market, Simonton will close its McAlester, Oklahoma plant and relocate production lines for its impact-resistant vinyl coastal products to the company's West Virginia operating sites.

Additional manufacturing operations will be relocated to Simonton's facility in Paris, Ill. This decision does not affect the company's operations in Vacaville, Calif.

"After extensive evaluation, we have decided to pro-actively consolidate our manufacturing operations to keep us competitive in the marketplace and to more fully utilize our facilities in West Virginia and Illinois," says Mark Savan, president of Simonton Windows. "In the challenging environment facing all building products companies, we are aligning our manufacturing operations with current and future demand indicators.

"Simonton will maintain the industry's shortest, most dependable lead times for our products that are custom-made for the exact needs of our customers. We will also continue to explore the development of new products and services that can support our customer's business needs as we grow our company in the future."

Production at the Oklahoma facility is expected to continue into December of 2011. Approximately 252 employees at the facility will be offered severance packages and support with job placement.

"Simonton has evaluated our manufacturing operations in light of the continued economic challenges facing the housing industry," says Mark Savan. "Because of the smaller market, and the increases in productivity that we've made across all our facilities, we are able to satisfy our customers' needs with fewer manufacturing facilities."

"We understand this decision impacts the lives of many people in the McAlester community, and we sincerely regret that. This was a very difficult decision. McAlester has been a good place for us to do business and I wish to thank our employees and the community for their support of Simonton over the past 10 years," said Mark Savan.

Simonton Windows says the first terminations will be on November 23, 2011 and the second on December 9, 2011. 

The plant manufactures new construction and replacement windows. 

Shari Cooper, executive director of MPower economic development, issued the following statement:

The Simonton Windows announcement is extremely hard news for all McAlester residents. Simonton Windows is one of our largest employers and their exit will obviously have a tremendous impact on our local economy.

Just this week, I had been in touch with both the local plant manager and operations manager. There was no indication that this announcement would be forthcoming.

I'm sure it was a shock to all the local employees - as it is for every resident in this town.

MPower Economic Development is currently working with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to develop a strategy for moving forward with Simonton Windows, the employees, and all workforce partners in our area.

We want to ensure that every employee understands they are not in this alone. We will work to make sure they are helped through the process - starting with their unemployment applications to career placement, and the development of a local career fair with other companies in town.

McAlester has seen its share of tough times - and what hasn't killed us has only made us stronger. Our community cares, our people are resilient, and we WILL get through this together.