Pacific Coast Feather won't rebuild Wayne, NE plant after Octobe - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Pacific Coast Feather won't rebuild Wayne, NE plant after October tornado

Tragic news in the aftermath of the Wayne, Nebraska tornado. One of the businesses destroyed in the October storm, says it will not rebuild, leaving 140 people without a job.

Pacific Coast Feather made the announcement less than two weeks before Christmas. Company officials say they tried to rebuild in Wayne over the last two months, but told employees time has run out.

The EF4 tornado left little more than debris after it ripped through the facility. "Our facility was completely destroyed from the tornado back on October fourth, so we really were in a position of needing to start from scratch," Fritz Kruger, Marketing Senior VP of Pacific Coast Feather said.

Pacific Coast Feather officials decided to try and rebuild, but the Wayne facility held their company's only mattress operation and held all of their inventory, meaning their product was destroyed and their customers were left hanging.

After two months and very little progress, the company decided they couldn't wait any longer. "After a pretty aggressive effort, we've concluded that we won't be coming back to Wayne. There's both a practical and an emotional desire on our part to stay in Wayne. We very much wanted that to be the solution and we just couldn't make it work," Kruger said.

The company is relocating to North Carolina, leaving their former employees in Wayne, Nebraska out of a job. 
"There were about 140 employees the day the tornado hit, and that's a big impact to the community, and that's a large payroll. There'll be quite an economic impact to the community," Ken Chamberlain, Wayne, NE Mayor said.

Pacific Coast Feather is paying their previous Wayne, Nebraska plant employees through the end of the year, and they've offered them all a job at the new plant in North Carolina when it opens. 

Mayor Chamberlain does say that losing those employees to another state entirely will hurt the economy, but says that's not his top priority. "Right now our focus is to try and get the folks that were affected rebuilt, and try to provide help for the families that were affected by this. That will include the families of Pacific Coast employees that are now searching for another job," Chamberlain said.

And by working with a resilient community that's grown stronger in the wake of destruction over the last two months, they hope to help those without a job start fresh

In an effort to help the community of Wayne rebuild, Pacific Coast Feather has decided to create a 200-thousand dollar scholarship at Wayne State College to say "thank you" as they leave town.

Pacific Coast Feather is based out of Seattle, Washington. They operate eight plants in the U-S and Canada, which manufacture mattresses, pillows, comforters and other bedding products for more than two thousand accounts.
The company called Wayne home for the last 16 years.
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