05/29/12 It wasn’t your normal workday at Stone Creek Homes on Thursday. According to one employee, the temporary employees hired through ASI, a Nebraska business had received phone calls on Wednesday telling them that ASI had dropped Stone Creek Homes as their customer and they would no longer be working for them. At 6 A.M. Thursday management at Stone Creek Homes in Plymouth help a meeting letting their temporary employees hired through ASI know that they would be OK. They were assured that Stone Creek was going to hire directly instead of using a temp agency.
The real shocker came about 10:15 Thursday morning when all the employees in the plant were called into the break room for a meeting with the HR Manager and General Manager.
Employees were told that the plant was short on parts and had no money in the account to pay anyone. They were told there was an indefinite layoff and that they should gather their personal belongings and leave the property.
Lisa Milam, Quality Control Manager for Stone Creek Homes in Plymouth sent out an email on Friday and said they were told, “Not to worry but to enjoy the long weekend.” She continued, noting that the President and CEO, Dave Ferguson was not there but they said, “he would let us all know more once they knew more.”
This unexpected shutdown did not only effect the Plymouth plant but the facility in Nebraska as well as the expansion to a plant in Etna Green where Kosciusko County Economic Development had been planning a ceremony in the next week or two to announce state assistance grants for the company.
Friday afternoon Kevin Lockhart, Salesman for Stone Creek Homes in Nebraska told WTCA the Co-owner, Al Donahue came to his office on Thursday morning and said they were closing and fired all the employees. He estimated 25 to 30 employees were at the Nebraska plant. When asked about his pay he was owed he said he had heard that there was no money to pay any of the employees.
One employee in Plymouth said he was owed for two weeks of work and didn’t know what he was going to do for himself and his family.
Calls to Dave Ferguson’s cell phone and emails were not returned on Thursday or Friday, in fact, Friday afternoon his phone was shut-off.
On one was expecting this including the Flynn Family who had closed their plant, Shamrock Homes in February 2011 and were excited and pleased when Ferguson came back to Plymouth mid-year with a plan to open the plant and put people to work again. Approximately 65 people worked at the Plymouth facility.
Jennifer Laurent from the Marshall County Economic Development Center was not aware of the situation on Thursday afternoon when WTCA contacted her. She could not comment further because she didn’t have any details.
Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter was also surprised on Thursday to learn from WTCA that the company had shut their doors and left the employees in limbo.