Jerr-Dan move to cost 100 jobs
The workforce in Greencastle was dealt a blow Tuesday afternoon as Oshkosh Corporation confirmed to the Echo Pilot that Jerr-Dan operations there will cease in October. The company with facilities on Hykes Road and Molly Pitcher Highway, which was acquired by Oshkosh in 2004, will shift manufacturing and assembly to JLG Industries in McConnellsburg and Shippensburg. An estimated 100 jobs will be lost out of the 250 on the current roster.
John Daggett, Director of Communications, said merging some parts of its two companies would maximize facilities and manufacturing while reducing costs.
"We are meeting with salaried and production employees this week to explain how they'll be impacted," Daggett said. "Some will be able to transfer to JLG if they want to. We have to give them time to digest this and determine what they want to do."
The corporation will also offer employment counseling to help with the transition of those who have to find other jobs.
The merge of Jerr-Dan and JLG will put both into the Access Equipment segment of Oshkosh. Jerr-Dan makes towing and recovery vehicles and had been in the Fire and Emergency segment. JLG makes aerial work platforms and telescopic material handlers. It will become the contract manufacturer of Jerr-Dan's light, medium and heavy duty carriers and wreckers and rotator tow vehicles. The manufacturing changeover will occur on Oct. 3. The following day operations will restart at JLG.
Daggett emphasized that Jerr-Dan will continue to be a separate business entity. The front office will relocate to the JLG Fountainhead office in Hagerstown, Md. where customer service, sales, operations, accounting, marketing, human resources and engineering will be handled.
Mike Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation, expressed extreme disappointment in the announcement.
"We understand the decision is a strategic corporate decision, but the loss of employees in Greencastle is significant and will have a significant impact. We'll have to work on a recovery strategy."
He added that Jerr-Dan had received great support from the local community, Franklin County, and beyond.
"It was conceived and raised in Greencastle and now it's going elsewhere," said Ross. "I'm also disappointed in the Oshkosh decision to put the administrative office in Maryland. They got tremendous support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and by that I mean millions of dollars. This really hurts Greencastle."
Daggett defended the move. "Companies have to look at 'Where do we have the most capacity?' Smart companies utilize the capacity of sister companies."