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Posted December 20, 2008 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Shockey Precast cuts 32 jobs

By James Heffernan -- Daily Staff Writer

WINCHESTER -- The Shockey Cos.' precast concrete division cut 32 positions this week in response to the crumbling economy.

In a statement, The Shockey Precast Group said the reductions "place the company's workforce in alignment with current work volume, as well as work volume anticipated for the foreseeable future."

Thirty-one of the positions were full time, and one was part time.

Shockey officials could not be reached for comment.

The precast division, which specializes in commercial projects such as parking decks, office buildings, manufacturing facilities and sports arenas, said it previously took steps to avoid the cuts, including initiating a hiring freeze and reducing work hours.

However, "with the current depth and projected longevity of poor economic conditions, a more significant adjustment could not be avoided," the company said.

Shockey Precast is under contract to build Winchester's fourth downtown parking garage on Cameron Street near The George Washington Hotel.

In March, Shockey sold its ready-mix concrete division -- Crider & Shockey Inc. and Toms Brook Inc. -- to Essroc Cement Corp. The division had employed about 100 people, who were retained by Essroc as part of the transfer of ownership.

The Nazareth, Pa.-based company operates a facility in Warren County that makes a self-cleaning cement that was used in rebuilding the Interstate 35 West bridge in Minneapolis.

Shockey mixes concrete at facilities in Winchester, Riverton, Leesburg, Fredericksburg, Marshall, Bealeton and on Quarry Lane north of Strasburg.

Following the sale of its ready-mix division in the spring, Shockey employed about 700 people. The company's other remaining division, Howard Shockey & Sons Inc., a general contracting, design-build and construction management firm, was unaffected by the recent cuts at Shockey Precast.

Construction employment statewide was down 6,800 jobs, or 2.8 percent, in the 12 months ended in October, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.

* Contact James Heffernan at jheffernan@nvdaily.com

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