Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. laid-off 70 corporate office employees in Riverside, Calif., last Thursday (Nov. 15), the Press-Enterprise newspaper of Riverside reported.

Fleetwood, a leading manufactured home and RV builder, had 550 corporate office employees in Riverside prior to the layoff last week, according to the Press-Enterprise.

Most of those laid-off had jobs related to Fleetwood’s RV manufacturing operations, according to Kathy Snyder, Fleetwood’s director of investor relations, who was interviewed by the Press-Enterprise.

The layoffs occurred to bring the size of Fleetwood’s corporate support staff better into line with the size of Fleetwood’s now smaller RV operations, Snyder said.

Since early 2000, Fleetwood has reduced the size of its total nationwide workforce to around 14,000 people, from 21,400.

About 35 of the people who were laid-off will be given the opportunity to re-apply for other positions at Fleetwood, Snyder added.

The corporate office staff layoffs occurred while Fleetwood is in the process of hiring 450 people, mainly production workers, at three motorhome plants. Most likely, a significant number of those who will be hired this month and in December will come from among the 340 employees of the same three factories who were laid-off in early October.

The three factories are in Riverside, Decatur, Ind., and Paxinos, Pa.

The 340 motorhome plant workers were laid-off because Fleetwood management intially assumed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks would sharply lower the demand for motorhomes.

However, the demand for Fleetwood’s motorhomes, particuarly diesel engine models, was better than expected in October, so the company plans to hire more motorhome plant production workers than it laid-off, Snyder said.