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Friday, April 16, 2010

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A Fishers maker of heat register deflectors and dryer vent tubes is laying off more than 200 manufacturing workers as a slowdown in home construction crimps demand for its products.

Deflect-O Corp. said Monday it plans to close its Fishers and Indianapolis operations in mid-February, laying off 219 members of its 230-person staff. Eleven employees will remain to steer Deflect-O operations in Canada and in Ohio.

"It's sickening," said Vincent T. Corso, president of Deflect-O, headquartered in Fishers.

"This business is very much tied to the housing industry, and we've seen a decline in that for over two years," he said. "That's the issue. The volume is dropping off to the point where we cannot support the infrastructure."

Housing starts are down 37 percent in Central Indiana during the first 11 months of this year, falling to 4,353 from 6,931 during the same period a year ago.

Deflect-O also manufactures office chair mats and makes rubber hose products for residential and light commercial construction.

The company invented the heat register air deflector and also makes dryer vent tubes and the slanted vent hoods that keep birds and critters from getting into your house.

Many of its products were supplied to homebuilders, a market that has been suffering for more than a year.

Corso said he couldn't justify keeping the nonoffice side of the business going because 2009 looks even worse than this year.

"No one can really see the light at the end of the tunnel," he said.

More than 140 of the positions, including molding packers and machine operators, are being shed at the Deflect-O manufacturing site at 7036 E. 86th St.

The remainder will come from the Fishers headquarters and distribution sites. Deflect-O leased 280,000 square feet.

Deflect-O was started by C.P. Meyer in 1960 and stayed in his family until Jordan Industries purchased it in 1998, Corso said.

Source Citation
"Fishers, Ind., manufacturer will lay off 219." America's Intelligence Wire 16 Dec. 2008. Popular Magazines. Web. 16 Apr. 2010.
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