Polson Concrete Company Lays Off Employees, Closes

By Beacon Staff

POLSON – A 62-year-old Polson concrete and gravel company has laid off about 20 employees and plans to close its office Friday.

The Polson division of Knife River — known for more than half a century as Polson Ready Mix — laid off the employees Monday.

“It’s definitely (due to) the economic times,” said Dave Zinke, vice president of Knife River-Missoula. “Our volumes were down in Polson, and looking at the future, we didn’t see it improving any time soon. The market just isn’t here right now.”

Employees, who said they had no warning their jobs were in jeopardy, were encouraged to apply at other Knife River divisions.

Knife River, a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, has locations in 14 states from Alaska to Texas and employs 7,000 people during peak construction periods.

The company purchased the Polson operation about five to seven years ago, manager Mike Shima said. It also has locations in Kalispell, Missoula, Belgrade and Billings.

Zinke said the company would look at “restructuring” the Polson business, and it’s possible it could reopen.

“But the earliest it would happen is next spring, and that’s only if the market has improved,” he said.

Polson Ready Mix was founded shortly after the end of World War II and had operated continually since.

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