It’s been a tough month for workers in Hesston, Kansas. Over the course of one week, two big employers in the town of 3,734 have announced major layoffs. GVL Poly’s Hesston factory just announced that it “will experience a significant reduction in employment levels.”
The company says the change is due to a “major customer” consolidating its supply chain. The GVL Poly plant in Hesston employs around 100 people, with the company expecting the layoffs to impact less than 50.
GVL Poly, which has its headquarters in Litchfield, Minnesota, was founded in 1992 and manufactures plastic products. Its Hesston, Kansas location houses engineering, manufacturing, SMART moulding, and maintenance departments in a 50,000-square-foot facility.
“Since opening in May of 2014, GVL Poly has successfully started manufacturing relationships with several Kansas companies to provide product(s),” the company says. “We look forward to continuing to grow these relationships to fill the production capacity at the Hesston Plant.”
GVL Poly is the second company in the small town of Hesston to announce layoffs in June. On June 21, Excel Industries abruptly announced it was laying off 270 production workers. Employees were told to accept a FedEx delivery that contained a letter stating whether or not they were being laid off in the downsizing. The delivery also contained a notice of a job fair to be held in Newton later in the month.
The company said the terminations were effective immediately and that it will continue to operate a first and second shift.
Excel will be offering a transition benefit package to the affected employees after the company gets back their badge and parking pass, both due by June 28.
The streamlining comes after three years of strong growth, during which the size of the company doubled. In 2013, Excel employed just 450 workers; today, it employs 1,018.
While the demand for turf care products continued to increase, the pace slowed in 2017. The company said the overall market has suffered in part from poor weather and current economic conditions throughout the U.S.
Despite the layoffs, Hesston mayor David Kauffman remains optimistic. “It’s hard telling, it will have some effect on some of the local businesses primarily the restaurants and the local convenience stores,” he said. “It will certainly have the biggest impact on the citizens that are being laid off and I certainly feel bad for them but I think the community will rebound pretty quickly.”
“Hesston Company Announces Layoffs,” KSNW-TV, June 27, 2017.
“GVL Poly laying off workers from Hesston plant,” KWCH12, June 27, 2017.
“270 employees impacted by Excel Industries workforce reduction,” KWCH12, June 21, 2017.
“Update: Hesston’s Excel Industries lays off 270 workers,” KSNW-TV, June 21, 2017.