RANDOLPH, Vt. (AP) – The owner of Vermont Castings has filed for bankruptcy protection. CFM Corp. filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code, which gives debtors a chance to reorganize, pay creditors and stay in business.

“At this point in time, my whole operation is shut down,” said Vermont Castings GM Dale Trombley, meaning the company’s Randolph foundry and a Bethel plant where wood stoves are enameled and assembled. “A lot of our people are on unemployment for a period of eight weeks,” he said.

The Bethel facility closed Monday, a week after the foundry. But he said the company will be building stoves again by June.

The two-month layoff for 170 employees is a blow to the area’s economy, according to Trombley, who said the sluggish economy – particularly the housing market – was to blame.

“The downturn in the housing market definitely has had a huge impact on our corporate sales, not just in Vermont, but I’m talking about our whole corporation,” he said. “That’s what the issue is.

“Usually Vermont feels (recessions) last, but we’re feeling it right along with everyone else this time,” Trombley added.

“And since Vermont Castings is an international supplier, we feel it quickly.”

Information from: The Times Argus, http://www.timesargus.com/

AP-ES-04-19-08 1005EDT

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