Instead of layoffs, workers help out

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Farm Forum

Molded Fiber Glass officials came up with a great way to deal with a short-term problem.

The company, which has been making 40-meter wind blades at its plant in Aberdeen’s northeast corner, is transitioning to manufacturing a larger blade — 48.7 meters.

This is good business for the company, but there didn’t seem to be enough work for all employees while the changeover was taking place.

Rather than lay off those workers, Molded Fiber Glass instead put them to work helping out in the community.

It’s truly a good news story for the workers, the company and the community.

MFG employees took on several jobs around the area: The 4-H building, Safe Harbor, Ride Line Bus, SPURS Therapeutic Riding Center and the Aberdeen Area Horseman Association all benefitted from the time and talents of the workers.

It makes sense for Molded Fiber Glass to come up with such a plan. Its workers are trained and skilled on very specific tasks; it is no use to lay them off for a short time until the bigger blades are ready to go. Those workers could find other employment in the meanwhile, and MFG would have to hire and retrain some of its work force.

Molded Fiber Glass also knows how tough it is to be forced to lay off workers, having laid off 92 employees in September.

There is never a guarantee that layoffs — short- or long-term — won’t happen. But this has been a great move that increases goodwill for everyone, and it might inspire other companies who are fortunate enough to be able to offer such an opportunity during a period of growth.

— American News editorial board