One of the largest employers in northeastern ND shutting down

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 7:24 PM CDT
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PEMBINA, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Motor Coach Industries (MCI) in Pembina, which employs nearly 200 people, is closing its doors later this year.

Lindy Norris, Director, Marketing & Public Affairs for New Flyer & MCI, tells Valley News Live:

In July 2020, NFI Group Inc. (“NFI”) announced NFI Forward, a transformational initiative intended to create a more efficient and integrated company. As part of the initiative, a dedicated team conducted several feasibility projects to optimize capacity, consolidate operations, and offset pandemic-related impacts.

We can confirm that following a detailed sixty-day feasibility study on its MCI (motorcoach) manufacturing operations in Pembina, North Dakota, NFI is regrettably proceeding with closure of the facility later this year. Closure is anticipated to occur late in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The coach business has experienced a significant amount of change over the past two years, including the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing disruptions to manufacturing operations caused by supply chain shortages, heightened inflation, extreme fuel prices, and a tighter labor market. Appropriately staffing MCI’s Pembina facility with the required number of people and skill sets has been especially challenging, even pre-dating the pandemic. Additionally, the above referenced study concluded that the NFI Group has excess manufacturing capacity in North America.

These reasons, combined with the planned cessation of a legacy motor coach product and investments made to expand our production and workforce at NFI’s Minnesota facilities, led to today’s decision. We are not offshoring manufacturing or jobs; we are enhancing our flexibility to ready ourselves for electrification at scale in the future. We remain committed to workforce development to ensure North American demand is met with North American manufacturing.

There are currently 195 people employed at our Pembina facility. NFI will offer support through transition and placement services and redeploy people within the NFI family where possible, including providing information on employment opportunities at the company’s Crookston, Minnesota facility. NFI will also manage the workforce transition through retirements and normal job attrition.

We recognize this announcement of facility closure is concerning and remain committed to supporting our people as best as possible through this difficult transition.

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