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March 01, 2009  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Blue Bird responds to economic downturn


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FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Blue Bird Corp. announced in early February that it has taken steps to mitigate the economic downturn that has led to delays in school bus orders.

The actions include laying off some contract and salary employees and idling during February the company’s North Georgia manufacturing facility, which is in La Fayette.

Mike Horn, executive vice president, said that the moves were to “ensure the continued financial health of the company during this temporary downturn in the global economy.”

Blue Bird acknowledged delays in orders for school buses but said that the business is cyclical and that this is a slow period of the year even in a stronger economy.

The company did not say how many employees were laid off, but Mike McCurdy, vice president for human resources, said that they may be hired back when business picks up.

“We have 1,800 employees here in Fort Valley, and everyone we have is important, so it is unfortunate to lose anyone,” McCurdy said.

Blue Bird said that the layoffs will not affect plans to add about 100 jobs in the next year as it moves fabrication work to a plant purchased last year. The plant, located four miles from the main plant facilities in Fort Valley, is currently being renovated.

 


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