Hundreds of Taylor Guitar workers to return to new normal

Posted at 5:26 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 21:29:41-04

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) — Taylor Guitars is calling hundreds of workers back to its plants in El Cajon and Tecate to begin buildings its famous guitars once again.

Those workers, however, will be facing a new reality once they settle in.

The company has separated each of its work stations by six feet, with Plexiglas barriers. It has moved break rooms to outside tents, and will have nurses on site to screen employees before they get started. Taylor will have 250 people at its El Cajon facility and 300 in Tecate. They will be divided into three separate shifts.

"This is a forever thing for us," said Barbara Wight, Taylor's chief financial officer. "Every decision we're making, we aren't making as if 'Well, we just need to get through the next two weeks,' because nobody knows how long this is going to go on or what could happen afterwards."

Wight made the comments Friday at an economic panel with other industry leaders at a virtual San Diego Association of Government's meeting.

She told the group that Taylor Guitars shut down March 20, and that this has been the most difficult challenge the company has faced. Wight said demand for the guitars is now stable, but that could change in the coming months.

"People have the unemployment, they have the stimulus check, but we really have concerns about what will it be as we get into the end of the summer and the fall," she said.

Wight said Taylor Guitars has not laid off any workers. She said the company will only be able to produce 50% to 75% of its prior volume because of the safety restrictions. She added, however, that Taylor Guitars is glad to put the safety measures in place.