Monaco Coach Corp. shut down a production line and cut 50 workers at its Wakarusa, Ind., facility Tuesday (Feb. 7) after fulfilling a $48.2 million order from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for emergency housing in the Gulf Coast.
Craig Wanichek, director of corporate communications for the Coburg, Ore.-based builder, said the FEMA work spanned three quarters, beginning last September shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf region.
Monaco positioned approximately 250 workers – some hired on a temporary basis – in Wakarusa to produce the FEMA units. With the shutdown, Wanichek said around 200 Monaco employees would be relocated to other positions and 50 are “temporarily laid off.”
“We feel real good about finding work for the majority of those employees within our business,” said Wanichek, noting the company has 3,275 employees in northern Indiana, including its recently acquired R-Vision division in Warsaw.
Wakarusa workers were first informed of the line closing last week. Wanichek said employees that were laid off will receive benefits until the end of the month, and the company has 90 days to hire them back.
He said the Wakarusa facility will continue to manufacture motorhomes.