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By Jason Adkins / Detroit Lakes Tribune, Published March 18 2009

Dynamic Homes ends shutdown

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – After a three-week layoff, Dynamic Homes restarted its factory in Detroit Lakes on Monday.

Company President Paul Okeson said that short furloughs have happened before, but this is the first plant closure for the past few years.

“We ran all of 2008,” Okeson said. “We hoped to do that this year as well, but we had a little blip.”

That blip was the economic downturn that affected the housing market across the country. Exacerbating the situation locally has been the near-record amount of snowfall in the area, especially in the early part of the winter.

Okeson said the bad weather has made on-site construction difficult.

However, business is usually down from the summer months anyway, even during times when the economy is good.

“This is a normal slow time for us,” Okeson said. “The housing market is cyclical.

The layoff itself ran in stages, Okeson said. Since the homes are constructed on an assembly line, workers at the starting point of the line were furloughed first and the process moved on until the homes were cleared out of the factory.

The start of the line runs in reverse, and it will take a week or so for the factory to be fully ramped up. With spring coming, business will pick up, Okeson said.

“You hope to build enough of a backlog to bring it back,” Okeson said.

Dynamic Homes was founded in 1969 and is one of the largest modular- building makers in the Upper Midwest. The company has built more than 10,000 since its founding. It employs more than 100 people at its Detroit Lakes factory.

The Detroit Lakes (Minn.) Tribune and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.