Update: Hesston’s Excel Industries lays off 270 workers


HESSTON, Kan. (KSNW) – Excel Industries notified 270 employees by FedEx delivery today that they were being laid off.

It’s part of the company’s reconfiguration and workforce reduction. One employee spoke to KSN saying he could not wait for the delivery, so he had his package held at the FedEx office this morning and went to pick it up. Most employees got their letters around 3 p.m.

“My results were as expected I think, but they weren’t what I wanted. And it’s okay. Because I’m very optimistic because when one door closes, God will open up another one,” welder Brandon Ryan said.

Ryan had been with Excel for two years. He said he understands “hard times are hard times” and has sought out his family in the midst of the news.

“I’ve been talking to a lot of people and luckily I have family support, I have my grandparents, my mom, my aunt, everybody has been really helpful so I’ll be okay during this process, it just sucks,” Ryan said.

Ryan has “In memory of” and “Excel Strong” tattooed on him in light of the shooting in February 2016. He says he considers his work crew to be family.

“I really, really feel for my guys, because we’re a family,” Ryan said.

The delivery contained notice of a job fair in Newton next week which Ryan plans to attend.

Hesston mayor David Kauffman said the community may feel a small impact from the layoffs, but he too is optimistic.

“It’s hard telling, it will have some effect on some of the local businesses primarily the restaurants and the local convenience stores. It will certainly have the biggest impact on the citizens that are being laid off and I certainly feel bad for them but I think the community will rebound pretty quickly,” Kauffman said.

[UPDATE: Thursday, 12:09 p.m.] — Hesston’s Excel Industries released the following statement just after noon Thursday reporting that they would be laying off 270 workers.

Excel Industries, Inc. today announced a reorganization that includes a workforce reduction at its manufacturing facility in Hesston. The reduction in force impacted approximately 270 production positions and is effective immediately. The company will continue operating both a first and second shift.

The streamlining in Excel’s production facility follows three years of unprecedented growth as the company more than doubled in size. While marketplace demand for the company’s turf care products continues to increase, the pace has normalized in 2017. Excel continues to grow at a modest pace, though the overall market for turf care products is flat or down in part due to adverse weather and economic conditions in many parts of the country.

Excel Industries made this very difficult decision after great deliberation. The company will sponsor a job fair and provide outplacement services, assistance with COBRA benefits, and transition payments to those affected by the reorganization.

Excel Industries, Inc. remains committed to its employees, the local community and all industries its products serve.

HESSTON, Kan. (KSNW) – Hesston’s Excel Industries is informing employees about a reorganization that includes a workforce reduction at its manufacturing facility.

First and second shift employees reported today for a brief meeting where they were told to accept a FedEx delivery tomorrow. The delivery contains a letter which will state whether or not that employee is laid off in the downsizing.

“Just mixed emotions on why they are doing this. It’s nobody’s fault but their own,” one employee said.

A second-shift welder said he was upset about the lack of transparency.

“It’s kind of like we knew it was happening, but we just didn’t know when…and they really weren’t upfront to us about the whole thing, you know they kind of just, everybody said they didn’t know anything and they kept it that way,” he said.

Today in a statement, Excel said: “Excel Industries, Inc. today will inform employees about a reorganization that includes a workforce reduction at its Hesston manufacturing facility. The company will issue a formal statement regarding the restructuring on June 22 after impacted employees have been officially notified.”

The company will issue a formal statement regarding the restructuring Thursday after impacted employees have been officially notified.

Back in 2016, Excel was the site of a workplace shooting. Four people died and 14 others were wounded when a gunman opened fire.

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