A northwest Iowa factory that makes furniture for hospitals and other health care facilities will close in mid-September.
Nemschoff Chairs in Sioux Center is part of Herman Miller, Inc. Mark Schurman, a company spokesman, says 111 workers will lose their jobs.
“There will be in late July approximately 30 jobs that would end and then another 50 in late August and then the balance on or before September 15,” Schurman says.
Nineteen workers at the Sioux Center plant were laid off two months ago. The company makes furniture for waiting rooms, children’s pediatric units, the side tables in hospital rooms and other furniture found in health care settings.
“Obviously it’s been a difficult economic back-drop generally for the last few years,” Schurman says. “But within the health care industry as a whole, there’s been the added uncertainty surrounding the long-term effects of the health care reform act, which has led a lot of health care customers to delay or cancel spending on their facilities because of uncertainties around federal reimbursement.”
Employees at the factory in Sioux Center will get a severance package.
“We’re absolutely committed to doing right by those Sioux Center employees,” Schurman says. “And, in fact, I really want to emphasize that these are great people and the decision to close that plant really has no reflection at all on the quality of that workforce.”
Leonard Nemschoff founded the company in 1950 in Wisconsin, focused on building furniture for libraries and colleges. In the late 1980s the firm shifted its focus to making furniture for the health care industry. In 2009 the company was purchased by Herman Miller, a Michigan furniture manufacturer.
By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City