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Archive for Monday, June 8, 2009

Prosoco lays off 10 employees

Loss of 10 jobs blamed on slowdown in new construction

June 8, 2009

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Prosoco Inc. laid off 10 employees Monday at its Lawrence headquarters.

The move leaves the company with 58 employees in Lawrence and 70 overall, as a precipitous decline in the new construction industry has been draining the market for Prosoco cleaning products.

“It was really a last resort,” said Gary Henry, a spokesman for the company at 3741 Greenway Circle, in the East Hills Business Park. “The layoffs were dictated by economics. They were not related to job performance. We hated to lose these trained people.”

The cuts in full-time employees affected all phases of the company, Henry said, including production, laboratory, accounting and customer care.

Prosoco, which moved to Lawrence in 1999 and expanded in 2004, is a maker of products that clean, protect and maintain concrete, brick and stone architecture. Just last year the company invested in changes to its 150,000-square-foot building to accommodate deliveries of materials for a new product.

The product, known as Consolideck, is deigned to harden and “densify” finished concrete floors, a construction and remodeling option the company considers to be the “wave of the future” given its environmental sensitivity and sustainability, Henry said.

Such diversification efforts, however, haven’t been enough to offset the decline in the company’s main products, such as those used to clean the walls of new brick buildings.

“That kind of product has paid the bills around here,” Henry said. “But that kind of construction is in decline because of the recession.”

Prosoco hopes to hire back some of the laid-off employees once the economy turns around, Henry said. Affected employees received severance pay.

Privately held Prosoco was founded in 1939 in Kansas City, Kan., where it remained until relocating to Lawrence.

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