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Quincy Joist to close

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With 52 jobs at stake, Gadsden’s economic development director hopes company will reconsider

By Alice Du Pont

It’s not a done deal yet, and some local officials hope the sale of the Quincy Joist Company to Canam Steel Corp. will not go through.
“The deal has not closed, and we’re hoping to keep them here,” said David Gardner, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.  “Schuff International Inc., a family of companies providing fully integrated steel construction services, announced an agreement to sell the majority of the steel joist fabrication assets of its subsidiary, to Canam Steel Corp., a subsidiary of Canam Group Inc. Under the agreement, the assets include the joist plant in Quincy (excluding land), including all equipment and inventory and Buckeye, Ariz., plant including all equipment and inventory. The transaction is subject to due diligence,” stated an April 29 press release from Schuff International.
Due diligence is a business term that means an investigation or audit of a potential investment. It is a precautionary process undertaken by businesses before making investment. In laymen’s terms, it is similar to checking references before hiring.
The company is located on South. Virginia Street in Quincy’s industrial park. It opened in Quincy in 1979. There are approximately 52 employees.
“This strategic sale of non-core business assets provides us with further opportunity to strengthen our industry-leading steel fabrication and erection business to reinvest in our existing steel fabrication plants and/or reduction of debt,” stated Schuff International’s President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Schuff in the same press release.
In keeping with the Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act (WARN), Schuff has provided written notice about the business closing in Quincy. The Quincy plant could close in approximately 60 days after the current work is completed.
“This is certainly a blow to the city. We want to keep as many of our people employed as possible. But we’re talking about families and the spinoff could be devastating,” said Jack McLean, Quincy’s city manager.
In addition to the loss of jobs, the city will lose utility revenue paid by the company of almost $10,000 per month.
Layoffs are expected to begin June 29, according to Will Trujillo, Schuff International Human Resources Director. Among the affected workers are: 27 shop jobs including nine welders and nine riggers and 27 office jobs, from general manager to maintenance.