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USG to cut work force by 20 percent

BY HBSDEALER Staff

USG, the maker of Sheetrock brand wallboard, joint compound and other building materials, has notified its employees on Friday of a 20-percent reduction in its salaried work force.

Bob Williams, USG’s director of communications, told Home Channel News that the company will seek voluntary buy-outs before it begins implementing layoffs. Manufacturing plants and sales offices across the country will be affected, he said, but many of the cutbacks are expected to take place at the company’s main office and research facility, which together employ 800 people.

USG reported a net loss of $40 million for its last quarter, with sales of $1.2 billion. The housing downturn, combined with a rise in the costs of raw materials and energy, has impacted the company’s financial health, the company said.

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Beazer Homes names new vp and treasurer

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Atlanta-based Beazer Homes has appointed Jeffrey S. Hoza as vp and treasurer. He will be responsible for all aspects of the treasury function, including management of the company’s cash and cash equivalents and managing relationships with lenders. Hoza will also be involved in Beazer’s acquisition and disposition of land assets.

Hoza joins the company from Wachovia Securities, where he served as a director in the real estate division. Prior to Wachovia, he worked at GE Capital, where he developed lending relationships with larger home builders and developers.

“We are pleased to welcome Jeff to Beazer Homes,” said Allan P. Merrill, executive vp and chief financial officer. “His depth of experience in home building and finance, gained in a wide variety of economic climates, will be extremely valuable as we manage through the current challenges in the housing market.”

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KB Home and Martha Stewart to build active adult community

BY HBSDEALER Staff

KB Home and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia have announced their new project: an active adult community in La Quinta, Calif., projected to open in fall 2009. These new homes will represent KB Home’s first community built for adults 55 and over.

“Our business is based on understanding the preferences of home buyers in the market segments we serve, and the active adult market is no exception,” said Steve Ruffner, president of KB Home’s Southern California division. “Our collaboration with Martha Stewart brings something new and exciting to this market.”

The community will feature one-story ranch style homes, with a variety of floor plans, ranging in size from 1,300 square feet to 1,800 square feet. The homes will offer two to three bedrooms, two to three baths and two-car garages. The community will be gated with a clubhouse.

All of the homes will be Energy Star-qualified and engineered to heat and cool efficiently and use fewer energy resources. They will also include low-E windows and Energy Star-qualified appliances.

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