Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Modular Home Factory Lays Off 30 Workers

Canadian-American Structured Solutions Inc., headquartered in Billings, has laid off about half the employees it hired when the company opened its doors in May.

The Colorado company hired 75 workers last spring when it chose Billings as its headquarters in a warehouse at 1400 S. 24th St. W., to build modular homes to help address the housing shortage in 10 Western states and three Canadian provinces.

CASS Homes' president and chief executive, Lorne Wallace, of Toronto, said Saturday afternoon that while less than a handful of employees have been terminated, the layoff of about 30 workers is only temporary.

“We have full intention of hiring people back on by late February,” Wallace said. “We have a significant amount of projects in the near future and with it, we intend bringing people back on board in about a 30 day range.”

Wallace said the company is completing a seven-unit townhome project in Baker next week.

In the meantime, CASS Homes is preparing for a 12-unit project in Glendive and a 90 home subdivision in Saskatchewan, Can., in February.

“This is a temporary situation as we wait for materials to arrive for our next projects,” Wallace said. “And this is a very common practice within the industry.”

Once the materials arrive, the pieces of the project are prepared in Billings, shipped to the project site and then assembled, he said.

Wallace said with the upcoming projects, the privately owned company intends to hire up to an additional 25 workers in addition to bringing back employees from the temporary furlough.

“We have many projects projected through the remainder of the year, and we continue to see the need for more people.”

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