Keiser Industries has temporary shutdown

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OXFORD — The president of Keiser Industries said Thursday that the company continues to stay strong despite a temporary three-day shutdown of production this week.

“We shut down production for a couple of days this week. We’ll restart on Monday,” David Cuttler, president of the modular home building company on Route 121, said.

Cuttler said the shutdown, which affected about 75 workers, occurred because the orders did not arrive in time to keep the production line moving. “We have to catch up with materials. It’s a tight market,” he said. Cuttler added that the problem has happened a few times over the past few years.

The problem of temporary shutdowns is not exclusive to Keiser. KBS Building Systems in Paris shut down its Waterford factory with 35 employees this winter. It is due to reopen production on Monday.

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The 22-year-old Oxford company was purchased in 2009 by R. J. Finlay & Co. LLC, of New Hampshire, a national real estate firm. During the last several years the Oxford Hills area has seen hundreds of layoffs in the manufactured housing industry.

Cuttler said the company is currently working on a 53-unit, mixed-use housing project in Reading, Mass., and there’ll be some school housing work later this summer at the Eaglebrook School, a boy’s residential and day school, also in Massachusetts. Last week, it also signed a contract in that state to build  20 to 25 homes under a program designed to replace pre-1976 manufactured housing with more energy efficient units.

“It’s where we can find the business,” Cuttler said. Half of Keiser’s work is in multifamily housing such as the recently completed units in Malden and Medford for housing authorities in those communities, he said.

While there were only five employees working in the Keiser factory on Thursday, Cuttler said he expects almost all of the employees that were sent home temporarily will be back Monday. The remainder will return once work starts ramping up in June.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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