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Polk County fence company closing plant, cutting 69 jobs

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 a.m. February 9, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
The Fence Outlet is laying off 69 employees in Lake Wales.
The Fence Outlet is laying off 69 employees in Lake Wales.
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A Polk County fencing manufacturer is closing its Lake Wales plant and will lay off 69 employees.

Fence Outlet announced in a letter to state and local officials Thursday that it was closing the facility at 4025 West Highway 60 in late March.

“At this time,” the letter, signed by the company’s president and CEO Raju Patel, says, “we anticipate the 69 employees will be affected by the layoffs, and that the layoffs will be permanent.”

Patel does not disclose the reason for shutting the plant down.

The letter was posted to the state’s WARN Notice database Thursday evening. (Federal law requires companies provide the state with Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification notices when making job cuts.)

In it the company says the plant is closing on or before March 31 and that the layoffs will be effective that day.

Polk property records show the company paid $3.5 million for the facility in 2017.

It is owned by an LLC whose address in state records matches Fence Outlet’s corporate office. The records list Patel as its manager.

Fence Outlet, according to its website, was founded in 1994 and works with homeowners, business owners and fencing contractors.

It operates seven stores, including one each in Tampa, Port Richey and North Port. In all it has more than 400,000 square feet of showroom and warehouse space according to the website.

This is the second local manufacturer this week to alert the state about a plant closing and layoffs.

On Monday, Pinellas County-based medical manufacturer BioDerm told officials in a letter that it will cease plant operations in Largo, laying off about 50 people in the process.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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