Building products company closing Modesto branch

Sacramento Building Products is closing its Modesto operation.

The company whittled its employees from about 200 more than a year ago to 65 as of last month, when corporate officials announced that the operation on Morgan Road is closing.

The Sacramento-based company has installed rain gutters, insulation, fireplaces, mantels and other products for more than 20 years. Like many other businesses tied to the housing industry, the company is scaling back, said Kathleen Vokes, spokeswoman for Masco Corp. Michigan-based Masco is Sacramento Building Products' parent company.

The Modesto operation is moving its installation services to other locations and reducing its administrative staff. The company has operations in the Bay Area, Fresno and Sacramento. The move will "help Sacramento Building Products maintain its competitive position," Vokes said.

"Addressing difficult market conditions is always challenging, especially when people's lives are affected," she added.

The company has offered severance packages to office staff only, said Paula O'Leary of the Stanislaus Economic Development & Workforce Alliance. The alliance helps connect businesses in Stanislaus County with residents looking for work.

Carpenters of Northern California, the union that represents the company's installers, views the closure as a restructuring. As normal when installers finish or leave a job and seek out another, they will retain their benefits, he added.

The company also is cutting back employees' hours, but it intends to finish projects under way before closing the Modesto shop, O'Leary said.

The Modesto operation isn't the first to be closed by the company. It shut a plant in Redding last year.

Bee staff writer Eve Hightower can be reached at ehightower@modbee.com or 578-2382.