By Joe Hadsall
MONETT, Mo. — Employees of Efco Corp.’s plant in Monett will go into the Labor Day weekend confident that their jobs will be safe despite a transfer of corporate ownership.
Longtime owner Chris Fuldner sold the company, which manufactures commercial windows, to Pella Corp. for an undisclosed amount, it was announced Thursday. The plant is now a subsidiary of Pella Corp. and will be known as Efco, a Pella Company.
“We were interested in becoming a bigger player in the commercial market,” said Mel Haught, president and chief executive officer of Pella. “Efco is a terrific brand and has a similar community culture. This is a great marriage of two great companies.”
Pella intends to keep all 1,600 of Efco’s employees on the job. Public relations manager Kathy Krafka Harkema said employee benefits will remain unchanged, and no management personnel will be replaced.
“Everything is staying the same,” Harkema said. “Our goal is for business to continue uninterrupted through this transition.”
The company’s method of sales will not change either, Harkema said. The plant will continue to produce Efco-brand products for commercial enterprises and sold by independent retailers.
Employees started their shifts Thursday in informational meetings under a tent pitched across the street from Efco’s plant. They were told about the acquisition while being served ice cream and cold drinks.
Kenny Pryor, a manager who has worked for Efco for 20 years, said employees are looking forward to the transition but will miss the former owner.
“We’ll hate to see (Fuldner) retire,” he said. “But it’s a positive thing to go from one privately owned company to another.”
Pella is a family-owned, privately held company based in Pella, Iowa. It employs more than 9,000 people in 14 states.
It has acquired one of Monett’s top employers and businesses, said Suzy McElmurry, director of the Monett Chamber of Commerce.
By Joe Hadsall
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