MAQUOKETA, Iowa — A bedding product manufacturer is permanently closing its Maquoketa facilities, eliminating about 125 jobs, in the wake of a business downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ninety-four of those employees of Hollander Sleep Products were let go Monday, according to correspondence sent Monday to City of Maquoketa leaders by Bedding Acquisition LLC, the parent company of Hollander Sleep Products. The Telegraph Herald obtained copies of that correspondence on Tuesday.
The remaining employees will be laid off in waves until the facilities at 1204 E. Summit St. and 1725 E. Maple St. close entirely by June 5, the letter states. 1分11选5平台 officials did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
In the letter, officials stated that about two-thirds of the company’s customer base stopped purchasing products as a result of the pandemic.
A temporary reduction in hours was implemented in February in response, but the facilities now are no longer considered financially viable, according to the company.
“Bedding (Acquisition LLC) had no ability to know that the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic would occur in the manner it has or that it would so drastically impact the nonfood customer base of Bedding and cause those nonfood customers to close their business doors,” the letter states.
The manufacturing operations were owned by Pacific Coast Feather Co. before being bought by Hollander Sleep Products in June 2017. Pacific Coast had operated a facility in Maquoketa since the mid-1980s.
Nic Hockenberry, director of Jackson County Economic Alliance, said the closure is a blow for Maquoketa and the county as a whole.
Hollander Sleep Products was one of the largest employers in the county, he confirmed.
“It’s definitely in the top 10 or 15 as far as total employees,” Hockenberry said. “It was very significant.”
Finding those employees new jobs will be more difficult due to the pandemic, he said.
“A lot of the processes to aid with dislocated workers are going to have to be adjusted,” Hockenberry said. “Things like mass hiring fairs are not going to happen, so we are going to have to adjust our approach.”
Maquoketa Mayor Don Schwenker said the closing of the plant is a tremendous loss for the community.
“They have been a staple of our community for years,” Schwenker said. “It’s disappointing to see them close our facility and move on.”
Schwenker added that the closure was unexpected, but the city will work with local economic development organizations to try to find jobs for the laid-off employees.
“We have some excellent manufacturers in town,” he said. “We hope to get them back in the job pool as fast as we can.”