U.S. Aluminum is back in business

According to a recent interview with Lloyd Talbert, president of C.R. Laurence (CRL), U.S. Aluminum is up and running at all but one facility. The Los Angeles facility will be moved to a new building …

According to a recent interview with Lloyd Talbert, president of C.R. Laurence (CRL), U.S. Aluminum is up and running at all but one facility. The Los Angeles facility will be moved to a new building across the street from CRL manufacturing headquarters, and is expected to open in the next week. The other facilities are already open for business. Considering itself as a leader in respect to maintaining a strong industry, the acquisition of U.S. Aluminum will enable the company to be positioned where it was formerly, and remaining a good solution for the industry. According to Talbert, CRL did not have a strategic vision of entering the storefront sector as it was a peripheral market for the company. He added that a high percentage of its customers work in this area, and, when the opportunity came up: We thought it made strategic sense for us. We didn“t know a lot about U.S. Aluminum previously. We certainly knew of them, but we dealt more with International Extrusion, [another subsidiary of International Aluminum Corp.]. We have heard that over the last couple of years the service of U.S. Aluminum did suffer, and that“s something that C.R. Laurence prides itself in. We will bring the service-oriented focus back. All but one U.S. Aluminum location will be maintained with only the Jessup, Md., location not being part of CRL“s plan. However, CRL is also looking at additional service centre locations in areas such as the Northeast and Canada, where U.S. Aluminum has no presence. With regards to employees, CRL has already contacted the senior management from U.S. Aluminum, as it intends to maintain those positions. Tom Harris, who had served as executive vice president of U.S. Aluminum, is now president of the division, with Patrick Lowrey as his number two man. CRL has also put out inquiries for employees in other areas of the company and has, so far, hired back about 40-45% of the old staff and is continuing to hire. Over the next couple of weeks, we will continue to hire more employees, said Talbert. We don“t have a set target of how many or in what positions, as we don“t know yet what areas were thin or overstaffed. We just know that we will continue to hire staff. At the end of the day, we anticipate that 150 to 200 jobs will be saved through the acquisition. U.S. Aluminum customers should continue to have the same sales representatives as C.R. Laurence typically works through employee representatives, and has hired 12 reps that were formerly with U.S. Aluminum. CRL wants to give the message that U.S. Aluminum is back in business after filing for bankruptcy, and looking forward to re-establishing the storefront brand. And, as Talbert said: We will do what we can with the jobs that are still active and move those to the front of the line. For the jobs that have gone by the wayside, where customers found other suppliers, we understand. Hopefully we will be able to regain their trust.