Modular home builder Keiser Homes is closing its manufacturing facility in Oxford, putting 123 employees out of work, according to the state Department of Labor.

The closure is part of a companywide shutdown for parent company Innovative Building Systems of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, which told the department that the company is bankrupt and is being forced by creditors to liquidate.

The company sent the information to the labor department per the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires most organizations with 100 or more employees to provide 60-day advance notice of plant closings and mass layoffs.

According to the notice, workers at the Oxford facility included 90 plant laborers, five sales personnel, four drivers, four warranty and service technicians, and 20 other employees including managers. The company was founded in 1987.

Oxford was once home to a number of manufactured and modular home builders, including Keiser, KBS Homes and Burlington Homes of Maine, said Richard Bradstreet, executive director of the Manufactured Housing Association of Maine.

Burlington closed in 2008. Now, with the closure of Keiser, only KBS remains. It is the only modular home builder left in the state, Bradstreet said.

Nationally, the modular home industry is doing relatively well, he said, adding that Keiser itself was doing a brisk business and even had a waiting list.

“They build a good product,” Bradstreet said. “People liked their product. It’s a shame.”

Keiser Homes became a part of Innovative Building Systems, the largest custom modular home builder in the U.S., in late 2013, according to the company’ website. The size of IBS’s network allowed it to deliver modular homes to customers in 30 states and 60 percent of the U.S. population.

A press release from IBS Friday said the landlord of several of its manufacturing facilities terminated IBS’ lease. Although IBS disputed the termination, the action “has impaired its ability to continue the negotiations it has been engaged in for the last several months with its senior secured creditor, alternative lenders, as well as potential buyers, regarding the company’s existing credit facilities, additional credit facilities and possible sale of the Company. …as a result of the lease termination, IBS may be forced to discontinue operations unless an immediate buyer of the Company assets is obtained.”

The labor department has scheduled a rapid response session for workers affected by the Keiser Homes closure. Workers who have lost their jobs may be eligible to collect unemployment benefits and other services, the department said.

It also encouraged Keiser Homes workers laid off earlier this spring to attend the session, which will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, 256 Main St., in South Paris. Affected workers also may contact the Lewiston CareerCenter at 753-9001.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @jcraiganderson

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