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Salem’s Timber Truss to close; 52 employees to lose jobs
The company has suffered through poor economic conditions in the housing sector, its president said.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
A 52-year-old business headquartered in Salem is closing after years of waiting for the housing market to rebound.
Timber Truss Housing Systems Inc. decided to close Tuesday , according to President Gary Saunders . The company’s 50 employees at the Salem headquarters and two employees at a Lynchburg office will lose their jobs by the end of the week.
Timber Truss, which was founded by Al James of Roanoke, manufactured building components and packaged homes. It has suffered through poor economic conditions in the housing sector, Saunders said.
“It’s been a very slow time in the building industry for a few years,” he said. “Going into the winter in a weakened position, it finally took its toll.”
At one point, Saunders said, the company operated plants in Salem and Orange along with offices in Lynchburg, Christiansburg, Harrisonburg and Smith Mountain Lake. The Orange plant, built in 2006, lasted only two years before it was shuttered in 2008 during the housing market crisis.
When the company decided to end operations Tuesday, only the Salem plant and headquarters and a sales and engineering office in Lynchburg remained.
Even though signs point to the economy heating up as a whole, Saunders said, the company’s market has not shown significant improvement.
Saunders said Valley Bank and Bank of Floyd worked with Timber Truss officials, but the company’s last ray of hope faded over the past month. He said Timber Truss had agreed in January to build a large order of homes in the area of Chile devastated by a 2010 earthquake. However, more than eight weeks after the agreement, the down payment has not come through.
“We were waiting on that check from Chile, putting our faith in that,” Saunders said.
James still was active in Timber Truss, Saunders said, and the president said he was sorry that James had to see his business close. Saunders also said the company was thankful for a supportive community and loyal customers in the Roanoke area.
He was unsure what would become of the plant and office on McClelland Street in Salem. Employees at the Salem plant will work their last day today while office employees leave Friday.
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