Flathead Valley Contractor Announces Layoffs

By Beacon Staff

A major Flathead Valley contractor that provides sand, gravel, asphalt and paving services says it will lay off its 58 employees and close in mid-February because of the faltering economy.

Goose Bay Equipment Inc., also known locally as NUPAC, has been in business since the 1970s. The company specializes in utility construction, especially in large subdivisions.

“We are hopeful that the closure is only temporary,” general manager John Shogren said. “But given the current economic conditions, and the downturn in road and highway building construction, we expect to be closed for at least 24 months.”

Shogren said Monday that Goose Bay made the 60-day closure announcement not only to comply with federal rules regarding planned shutdowns, but also because “we want to give our employees two months advance notice to provide them with an opportunity to look for other employment.”

But that could be difficult in the Flathead Valley, where several large employers — from wood products to metal smelting to high-tech — have laid off hundreds amid the economic turmoil.

Goose Bay is a division of Oldcastle Materials Inc., which has 23,000 employees in 44 states.