For Employer, Laying off Workers Isn't Easy

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Summitville Tile has been family owned and operated for three generations. Their tiles can be found in Union station in Washington, D.C, 7-Elevens in Mexico, and the roof of the White House. A successful company by just about any measure but with orders way down this year owner David Johnson had to lay off about a third of his workforce last week.

JOHNSON: "My brother and I know most of our employees in our company on a first name basis. I know when somebody just had a baby. I know when someone lost a family member. We're intimately involved with our employees and we care very much about their welfare. It is very difficult."

Johnson is hoping the layoffs will be temporary - just to get him through the next 3 to 6 months. And he's trying to stay optimistic.

JOHNSON: "I have to be upbeat. I look at the glass as half-full and I'm going to do my level best to get sales ramped up as quickly as we can and get folks back to work."

Johnson would like to see his company reach the the century mark, which is three years away. But for now he's just focused on the short term.

Bridget De Chagas, 90.3.

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