Starkville manufacturer lays off 100 with production shift

Kirby Building Systems - a Nucor subsidiary that operates at the former Gulf States property off Airport Road - has been under the Nucor brand since 2007.
By: 
RYAN PHILLIPS
SDN EDITOR

The parent company of a Starkville-based metal building manufacturer announced on Wednesday it will be shifting production operations to another state, putting roughly 100 employees out of work.

Kirby Building Systems - a Nucor Corporation subsidiary that operates at the former Gulf States property off Airport Road - has been under the Nucor brand since 2007.

Nucor spokesperson Katherine Miller told the Starkville Daily News in an email the company announced production changes in its Nucor Buildings Group, which manufactures custom-engineered and standard metal buildings and components throughout North America.

“As part of the announced changes, we will be transferring all production from our Kirby Building Systems plant in Starkville, Mississippi, to our Kirby facility in Portland, Tennessee,” Miller said. “We will continue to maintain a significant commercial and technical presence at the Starkville facility.”

The Tennessee branch of Kirby Building Systems is based in Portland, Tennessee, where production operations will continue moving forward. The Portland location is more than 300 miles from Starkville.

Nucor (NYSE: NUE) is a publicly-traded manufacturer of steel and other related products based out of North Carolina. The company is the largest producer of steel in the United States.

Miller said Nucor has resources in place and will be working with the affected employees who want to remain with Nucor to find employment opportunities within the company.

“Our production teammates in Starkville are a group of hard working and dedicated individuals, and we greatly appreciate their efforts to produce the highest quality products,” Miller said.

Miller did not comment on what aspects of the Starkville plant will continue to operate.

There is no union presence at the Starkville plant.

Kirby-Mississippi General Manager Jason Freidenberger referred all questions to Nucor.

CITY LEADERS RESPOND

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill said she heard about the layoffs on Wednesday morning and was not previously aware of the company’s intentions to scale back operations in Starkville.

“To say that we’re disappointed obviously is an understatement,” Spruill said. “We weren’t aware and never had an opportunity to see if there was something creating a situation where there was a problem with them.”

Spruill said the economy will be positively impacted by the proposed industrial park when it becomes operational and the city will continue to work to help find jobs for those affected by the cuts at Kirby Building Systems.

She also said the city will still be interested if Nucor decides to relocate or expand operations in Starkville in the future.

“We will do our best to be mindful of people who are not going to have jobs,” Spruill said. “We certainly have appreciated their presence in Starkville and understand the need to make business decisions.”

Greater Starkville Development Partnership President and CEO Scott Maynard told the Starkville Daily News that the GSDP plans to work with partners in the Golden Triangle to help find jobs for those looking to stay in the area.

“I know there are other employers within the Golden Triangle that are seeking a trained workforce,” Maynard said. “We definitely want to provide any assistance we can in helping those displaced workers. It’s sad to hear this and it’s a definite shock.”

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