A large one-story industrial building shown with a parking lot in the foreground.
Morgan Olson's facility in Pittsylvania County. Photo by Grace Mamon.

Upcoming layoffs will impact more than 400 employees at the Pittsylvania County facility of Morgan Olson, which makes walk-in step vans, the boxy trucks commonly used by package delivery companies, bakeries, laundries and other industries.

Those 435 layoffs and another 290 at the company’s Loudon, Tennessee, location will both take effect on Dec. 22, according to federally required notices of mass layoffs posted on Virginia and Tennessee state government websites.

It’s unclear how many employees will be affected at the company’s Sturgis, Michigan, headquarters. No such notice has been posted on the Michigan state government’s website, and Morgan Olson spokesperson Kenn Klein declined to provide specific layoff or employment figures.

“Customers have recently communicated to Morgan Olson that new vehicle purchase orders will be delayed due to the current economic conditions and forecasts,” Klein said in a statement.

“As a result, Morgan Olson will reduce their workforce at all three Morgan Olson locations in Michigan, Tennessee, and Virginia. Ongoing production will continue at all locations as the company works towards expanding its customer base and preparing for market recovery.”

Morgan Olson, which is owned by the privately held commercial truck manufacturer J.B. Poindexter & Co., names UPS, FedEx, Aramark and Flowers Foods as among the brands it serves.

In late 2019, officials announced that Morgan Olson would bring 703 jobs to Pittsylvania County as it opened its new assembly plant at the county’s Cane Creek Centre Industrial Park, in a 925,000-square-foot former IKEA facility that had shut down in July of that year.

In October 2022, officials announced that Morgan Olson had been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Port of Virginia for worker retention, according to the Danville Register & Bee.

In a statement, Danville Community College President Jerry Wallace said the college is “prepared to support all displaced or laid-off workers to upskill and gain industry-recognized certifications.”

“Dr. Mark Funkey, Vice President of Workforce Services, and Chad Younger, Director of Workforce Services are currently developing numerous short-term trainings to be offered to Morgan Olson employees looking to gain more skills during this transition,” Wallace said.

The college asks people seeking more information about those opportunities to contact Younger at chadrick.younger@danville.edu or 434-797-8573.

Matt Busse is the business reporter for Cardinal News. Matt spent nearly 19 years at The News & Advance,...