UPDATE: Keiser Home workers blindsided by plant closing

OXFORD — Keiser Homes in Oxford has closed, displacing more than 100 workers and leaving a measurable hole in the area’s workforce.

According to the Maine Department of Labor, Innovative Building Systems, whose Excel Homes division purchased Keiser Homes in 2013, has closed the Oxford-based modular home business.

Julie Rabinowitz, a spokeswoman for the Department of Labor, told WMTW-TV that “at least” 120 people will lose their jobs.

According to the Department of Labor, Innovative Building Systems will also be closing the rest of its facilities across the United States and is filing for bankruptcy.

The Department of Labor’s Rapid Response team has been activated to help laid-off workers.

Selectmen who were meeting Wednesday knew nothing about the closure when approached by the media, describing news of the closing as “rumor.”

“A couple weeks ago I heard they were anticipating closing,” Selectman Roger Jackson said.

“Just rumors,” Selectman Scott Owens said. “We haven’t been told anything official. Actually, I’m not sure anything has been said official, has it? Not to us.”

Just last Friday, a Sun Journal reporter asked an employee at the Oxford facility about recent layoffs there.

The layoffs were routine and seasonal in nature, said Dan Richardson, who described himself as a scheduler.

He told the reporter that Keiser was experiencing a temporary layoff because the company was unable to ship in heavy parts necessary to the construction process because of road postings.

Keiser Homes has been building modular homes since 1987.

R.J. Findlay & Co. of Milford, N.H., bought Keiser Homes in 2009. In 2013, that company hired Stephen Vlachos of Caswell Vlachos Group in Portland to locate an appropriate buyer for Keiser and facilitate the transaction. The buyer was IBS’ Excel Homes.

“It’s huge for the state of Maine,” Vlachos said at the time.

Excel bought Keiser’s machinery, trucks, trailers, equipment and customer list, and had an option to buy the 24-acre site on Route 121 over the next five years.

According to the company’s website, Innovative Building Systems is the largest custom modular home builder in the United States, operating five factories under several brands, including Keiser Homes. 

Staff Writer Rick Haverinen and Copy Editor Mary Delamater contributed to this story.


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: