Fred Hill Materials lays off 18 workers

Eighteen employees lost their jobs last week after Fred Hill Materials (FHM) finalized the sale of part of its Shine Pit operations in Port Ludlow. The sale was designed to bolster the company and preserve other jobs in the face of an industry-wide economic slump, FHM officials said. The move also adds operating capital to the company’s proposed Hood Canal Pit-to-Project.

Company plants in Poulsbo, Bremerton, Port Townsend and Sequim will continue to receive material from Shine Pit.

FHM produces and delivers concrete to residential, commercial and military customers on both the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas.

“This divesture sale strengthens our company during a particularly tough economy for those of us in construction,” said Alex Hill, third-generation FHM family owner. “We’ve consolidated our assets, saved jobs overall and enhanced future growth opportunities. With this sale, Fred Hill Materials remains a strong company and strong union employer.”

In contrast to the 18 jobs lost, 100 were preserved, a company news release reported.

Auburn-based Miles Sand & Gravel purchased the truck-based sand and gravel mining portion at Shine Pit. Miles Sand & Gravel is a fourth-generation, family owned company with multiple locations in Puget Sound. The company has been doing business in South Kitsap for more than 30 years, including supplying materials from its Port Orchard Sand & Gravel operation to FHM, according to a news release.

FHM’s proposed pier project includes a new conveyor that would move sand and gravel from Shine mining areas to a load-out-only facility on the western shore of Hood Canal.

The finished project, Hill surmised in a news release, would provide a domestic regional source of sand and gravel that would benefit private, public and environmental projects. The company has pledged to donate 500,000 tons of that sand and gravel to help restore beaches and marine and salmon habitats.

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