Williamsport native John Beauge obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Penn State and a master’s from Northwestern University. He was photo editor of the Daily Collegian his senior year at Penn State. He worked for the Williamsport Sun-Gazette from 1963 to 1983, rising to the position of city editor. He has been a correspondent for the Harrisburg Patriot-News since 1983.
(Kreamer) — The Wood-Mode plant in Snyder County that closed abruptly on May 13, leaving 938 people without jobs, will soon be back in the business of producing custom wood cabinets.
New owner Bill Frenh said Thursday he has completed his purchase of the company’s assets.
He declined to reveal the purchase price but said Great Rock Capital has the money. Great Rock, which was Wood-Mode’s primary lender, got the money because all the company had were debts, he said.
About six weeks ago, French began calling back employees for special needs such as for maintenance and to contact dealers. There currently are 14 working, he said.
He anticipates taking job applications in a couple weeks with a goal, depending on how many orders the company receives, of hiring between 200 and 500 employees, he said. Wood-Mode had many fine crafts people, he said.
But she has cousins and uncles ready to go back to work at Wood-Mode if they’re called, she said. Had she not gotten the mail job, Sanders said she would have considered returning if the pay was competitive.
David Scarr, former vice president of human resources, in a certified letter told the state Department of Labor and Industry that the plant was forced to close abruptly because a prospective buyer had backed out.
On top of that, on May 10 management learned its lender was unwilling to provide additional funding that would have enabled the plant to remain open while it explored a sale to other potential buyers, the letter said.
Wood-Mode CEO Robert Gronlund and his son, R. Brooks Gronlund, president and chief operating officer, are not involved in the new ownership.
Included in the assets that French bought is the building in Selinsgrove housing Wood Metal Industries that is owned by Robert Gronlund.
He said he hopes to negotiate a lease so Wood Metal will remain a tenant.