(Valley Forge, Pa.) – Citing the ongoing decline in new home construction starts in the southeastern United States, and resulting decrease in demand for wallboard, CertainTeed Gypsum announced today that production will be suspended at its gypsum wallboard production plant in Jacksonville, Fla., on January 7, 2009.

Approximately 54 local employees will be impacted. The plant produces gypsum wallboard, more commonly referred to as drywall, which is used in residential and commercial construction.

“It is always a very difficult decision to cease operations,” says John Donaldson, President of CertainTeed Gypsum. “The employees at the Jacksonville plant have demonstrated an absolute commitment to safety, quality, customer service and teamwork and this closing in no way reflects their hard work and dedication to our business. But unfortunately, customer demand has dropped to such a low level that we simply cannot continue to manufacture at the present time.”

The plant will begin winding down production on November 14. The company hopes to restart wallboard production when the housing market rebounds.

“I know this suspension will have a significant impact on our employees, their families and the Jacksonville community,” continues Donaldson. “We are committed to providing those who will be leaving the Jacksonville plant with the resources they need to identify new opportunities in the local area and within CertainTeed. In addition we will help employees prepare resumes, enhance their interviewing skills, and provide moral support during this period.”

In addition to the Jacksonville facility, CertainTeed operates 21 gypsum wallboard, finishing and mining facilities throughout North America.