Andersen to Cut 250 Workers by Year’s End

The window and door maker, which employs about 3,200 in Minnesota, said that the majority of the cuts will affect production workers in Bayport.

Amid a prolonged slump in the housing market, Bayport-based window and door manufacturer Andersen Corporation plans to cut 250 jobs by the end of the year.

Vice President of Communications Laurie Bauer said Wednesday that the majority of the cuts will affect workers at the Bayport production facility, although employees are being laid off across the country.

Andersen employs approximately 9,000 employees-about 3,200 of whom work in Minnesota.

Most of the planned layoffs will be in production. Before making involuntary cuts among those workers, Andersen will offer a buyout package. Anyone who wants to take it has until early December to notify the company.

Other cuts will occur among management, sales, and office support staff, according to Bauer.

Andersen has made cuts several times over the past few years amid sluggish economic activity and decreased sales.

“The housing market is in its sixth year of recession-unprecedented,” Bauer told Twin Cities Business. “And economists are saying we've probably hit the bottom, but the outlook for 2012 is not overly encouraging. . . . We are thinking it will be flat.”

Bauer said that the company has implemented a number of short- and long-term cost reduction initiatives in addition to laying off workers. Among the short-term efforts: freezing hiring, limiting business travel, and creating shorter work weeks. Additionally, over the past 10 years, Andersen has acquired five companies-and it has since consolidated its production and distribution centers.

“In 2009 and 2010, that federal energy tax credit positively impacted our sales” and helped offset the negative impact of the housing market decline, Bauer said, adding that the credit likely boosted business by 10 to 15 percent. But the credit, which was available for the installation of energy-efficient windows, expired this year.

Andersen is among Minnesota's 25-largest private companies based on revenue, which Forbes estimated to be about $2.1 billion last year. Within the state, it has facilities in Bayport, Cottage Grove, North Branch, and Oak Park Heights.