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MSNBC: Manufacturing leading the recovery -- for now


Marvin Windows and Doors is featured in an article on today that discusses the recent uptick in manufacturing in the United States. From the report:

Susan Marvin went into 2010 expecting it to be much like 2009: weak and difficult.

So when the president of the Minnesota manufacturing company Marvin Windows and Doors started to see orders pick up a bit in March, she was pleased but not overly confident.

“I would have to say there was a very tentative optimism,” she said.

So far, the growth in orders has continued. That’s allowed Marvin, whose company makes windows and patio doors for upscale customers, to increase hours for her manufacturing employees and reverse some of the pay cuts she instituted for her salaried employees. …

The article also reinforces the significance of the company’s no-layoffs strategy:

“Clearly we had more employees than we had work,” Marvin said.

But to Marvin, the cost to morale and productivity that would come from laying off workers was not worth the financial gain. Instead, she had employees spend time doing additional training and looking for ways to run the plant cheaper and more efficiently.

With orders up, Marvin said some of the company’s plants are back to 40-hour weeks, while others have gone up to 35 hours. Salaried employees also will soon see a 2 percent increase in their reduced pay, she said.

By avoiding layoffs, Marvin thinks her company was in a better competitive position to ramp up production when business began to improve.

Read the full story at