Thirty-one employees have been laid off at the Stillwater Armstrong Flooring plant, the News Press has confirmed. The move has been attributed to consolidation efforts for the flooring products.
“To make the best use of our production resources and ensure efficient operations, we have made the decision to consolidate production of felt-backed vinyl sheet flooring to our floor plant in Lancaster, Pennsylvania,” Armstrong Communications Manager Steve Trapnell wrote to the News Press. “Vinyl sheet production currently handled at our Stillwater Plant is being transitioned to Lancaster, which manufactures both felt- and fiberglass-backed vinyl sheet.
“We're making this move to enable continued efficient production of vinyl sheet, which is a longtime core strength of our company but is under pressure in today's competitive marketplace as customers switch to other types of flooring, such as luxury vinyl tile. This decision was not made lightly, because it does result in the reduction of 31 positions at our Stillwater plant. We are offering our support to affected employees as they prepare for their next opportunities.”
Stillwater’s Armstrong plant has endured layoffs before. In a 2007 News Press story that reported layoffs, the number of employees at the Stillwater plant was listed as 190. Trapnell said Stillwater’s plant will continue operations with approximately 70 employees.
“In recent years, we have made investments to reposition a portion of the plant to produce luxury vinyl tile,” Trapnell wrote. “With this transition, we are increasing the focus of the plant on LVT, which is the fastest-growing category in the flooring industry.”
Lancasteronline.com reported that in August, workers from Stillwater were sent to fill in at the Pennsylvania plant during a labor dispute because Stillwater’s plant is non union.