LEWISBURG — The reported closure of Wood-Mode in Kreamer, Snyder County did not go unremarked at a Monday night meeting meant to discuss the economy.
Rep. Fred Keller (R-85) and Bob Garrett, Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce president/CEO each lamented the sudden news at the start of the Susquehanna Valley Conservatives meeting. Both men were on the meeting schedule prior to the developments.
Keller called the news of the cabinet maker very sad and estimated that 900 employees would be affected immediately.
“Let’s be sure to keep them in our prayers,” Keller said. “I’ve been in contact with Sen. (John) Gordner (R-27). Rep. Lynda (Schlegel)-Culver (R-108) and I have been working very closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor, with the chamber and Bob Garrett and also with the US Department of Labor and Snyder County commissioners to make sure we can get resources to the people affected by this terrible news.”
Keller said working together for the future was a serious responsibility.
“We want to make sure everyone can succeed in a good economic environment,” Keller said. “Unfortunately, it’s been some devastating news today.”
Garrett noted that Gordner had contacted a special team headed by Gov. Tom Wolf and also credited Keller for taking action.
“It is hard to imagine the greater Susquehanna valley without Wood-Mode in it,” Garrett said. “Somehow we’ve adjusted to imagining the Susquehanna valley without Pennsylvania House or without Butter Krust. That’s the tug and pull that comes with the economy. We’ll adjust to this.”
Garrett said the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way and Joanne Troutman, president and CEO, were committed to quickly working with families affected.
“These kind of announcements are extremely stressful,” Garrett said. “(They) can have very adverse effects on people.”
The United Way was setting up a local appeal for people who would like to help.
“The community is rallying,” Garrett added. “We need to let the families of Wood-Mode know that we have their backs and that our community will come together to make sure they are just fine.”
Jim Persing, Susquehanna Valley Conservatives president, noted that national economic numbers remain strong, but acknowledged the news about Wood-Mode was a challenge.
Keller offered his office phone number, 570-966-0052 and www.repfredkeller.com as a resource. He noted that Schlegel-Culver, who represents a portion of Snyder County, would also take calls at 570-286-5885.
A public relations firm representative listed on the Wood-Mode website declined comment. An email to a company marketing director based in Kreamer was undeliverable.