Employees at a Portland factory went in to work on July 31 only to find that most of them were being laid off that day.

United Structures of America, located at 214 Fountain Head Road, began calling in employees in groups of 10 to 15 workers at a time on Wednesday and telling them the news that they were being let go from their jobs immediately.

USA had laid off about 10 to 15 draftsmen and technical workers a few months ago when it was believed the company was being positioned to be sold.

However, last week's layoffs amounted to approximately 75 percent of the 100-plus workers who were part of the job force there being let go in one fell swoop. It is not clear whether there are still plans for the Portland facility to be sold or eventually closed.

The employees were not given a severance package nor were they given any additional days to finish out.

Attempts to reach ownership and plant manager Mack Blair for comment were unsuccessful.

USA manufactures steel buildings, and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

The Portland facility has been in business in town for 34 years. The first plant was started in Houston in 1980 by Richard Drake, Bob Simpson and Eugene Parrish. The Portland plant was built in 1985, as Simpson had previous ties to Portland.

In recent years, Drake had overseen the operations of the company before he died in April 2018. The company is now operated by Drake's two sons and Parrish's son.

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