Previously laid-off employees at Brunswick's Palm Coast, Fla., production facility were recalled recently as the company prepares to ramp up production of Meridian Yachts.
The Palm Coast facility currently employs 265 people building Meridian Yachts from 40 to 47 feet, and Sea Ray sportyachts from 39 to 50 feet. Employment dropped by more than 40 percent during the last year as production declined.
However, the overwhelming majority of displaced workers have since been contacted and offered positions at the plant, the company said. There are also plans to hire additional new employees in the coming months.
Meridian Yachts sales have been down this year. However, in support of Brunswick's emphasis on reducing the marine supply pipeline, Meridian's wholesale shipments and production were reduced by an even greater percentage than the drop in retail activity.
"We have been committed to helping our dealers reduce their inventory over the last year and to helping them establish sustainable business models going forward. We're now getting to a point with Meridian where we need to increase production to meet anticipated demand even in a flat market and work with our dealers to ensure they have what product they need," said Rob Parmentier, president of Sea Ray Group, which includes Meridian Yachts, in a statement.
Production of Meridian Yachts was moved from Arlington, Wash., to Palm Coast about a year ago.