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The Journal Gazette

January 31, 2017 6:33 PM

PendaForm laying off workers

Lisa Green | The Journal Gazette

PendaForm, a manufacturer that two years ago announced an expansion in Bluffton, has notified the state it plans a "mass layoff," affecting 75 employees.

In a notice filed with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the company said the layoff from its plant at 130 W. Harvest Road would be permanent and involve 47 full-time and 28 part-time workers. Employees, according to a letter dated Jan. 24 and stamped received on Tuesday, were informed of the layoffs on Jan. 18 and Jan. 25. The job cuts are scheduled to begin March 25.

Formerly known as Fabri-Form Co., PendaForm specializes in making truck bed liners.

A company spokesman could not be reached for comment late Tuesday afternoon.

Two years ago in February, PendaForm said it would spend up to $4 million to expand the Bluffton plant and double the workforce. At the time, the New Concord, Ohio, based company employed 50 there.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered the company $160,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $35,000 in training grants, based on the job creation plans. The city of Bluffton was to grant a tax abatement to save the company up to $250,000 and planned to invest $150,000 on utility upgrades and street improvements.

According to the company's website, PendaForm also has manufacturing operations in Portage, Wisconsin, Lerma, Mexico and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.

The state's Workforce Development department and Northeast Indiana Works said Tuesday they have formed a "Rapid Response Team" to help displaced employees with identifying other employment opportunities and assistance including interiew workshops and skills assessments.

lisagreen@jg.net