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Cabinet maker to close W.Va. plant

WINCHESTER -- American Woodmark, a leading cabinetry supplier based in Winchester, announced this week that a component facility in Hardy County, W.Va., and a lumber operation in Hazard, Ky. are closing because of the housing slump, according to a press release.

The company will also place the assembly plant in Tahlequah, Okla., which idled in early 2009, up for sale.

In addition, it will change the retirement system for all employees by freezing pension plans, increasing company match and improving the profit sharing plan, according to the release.

According to chairman and CEO Kent Guichard, the last four years have proven to be the worst for home construction since 1959.

"In the near term, we believe the ongoing uncertainty surrounding government finances, persistent unemployment, and restrictive credit will continue to suppress consumer
confidence and demand for discretionary big ticket items," Guichard states in the release.

After realizing the initial costs of changing the retirement program, which will total $18 to $10 million before tax, the company expects to see savings of about $16.5 to $18.5 million a year.

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