05/30/12 Some former Stone Creek Homes employees in Plymouth and Central City, NE were grateful to find that at least one week of the back pay they were due was deposited into their banking accounts on Tuesday; but with no job to go back to, the future looks bleak.
At least four former employees were on salary and have not received any back pay.
Stone Creek Homes at both locations gathered employees on Thursday and told them the company was closing. Locally, employees were told that the plant was short on parts and had no money in the account to pay anyone. They were additionally told that it was an indefinite layoff and that they should gather their personal belongings and leave the property.
Stone Creek had taken over the former Shamrock Homes facility in August of 2011. They started with nine employees and ended last week with 41. Ferguson had repeatedly indicated that they would have 75 employees by 2012.
Kevin Lockhart, a salesman working out of the Nebraska office, said co-owner Al Donahue made the same kind of announcement at that plant on Thursday. Lockhart said he thinks there were between 25-30 employees at the Nebraska plant.
So far, co-owner Dave Ferguson is not returning calls or emails. His cell phone number has been disconnected.
Zac Bailey said he had only been working at the Plymouth plant for three and one-half months. He said, “I was constantly told my job was secure.” He added, “The top production workers were only making $11.00 per hour, but we were told there would be more money in the future.” Bailey voiced the same questions that a number of former employees are asking: “Was the plan to make money and get out or did they just not know what they were doing?” Bailey had only been on the Stone Creek Homes payroll for one month. Prior to that time, he was working for ASI, a temporary employment agency.
Bailey said, “Before I got the job at Stone Creek, I had put out 35 plus applications.
Ferguson had recently signed lease papers for a building in Etna Green. According to Kosciusko County Economic Development Director George Robertson, Stone Creek was in line for a state incentive package that would have meant a reimbursement for in-state job creation. Robertson learned of the closing by phone from local Plymouth media. He said, “I have not been contacted by anyone from Stone Creek.”
Carol Anders Correspondent