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Quartz Mountain Aerospace closes after stealing employees payroll withholding

Altus firm (Quartz Mountain Aerospace) leaves its employees out in cold

QMA once again in financial trouble; announces downsizing

Altus Times, November 5, 2008
Shaunna Cooper

It looks as though Quartz Mountain Aerospace just cannot catch a break.

The company issued a press release just yesterday announcing a temporary resizing of the workforce at both the Altus and Coffeyville, Kan. facilities.

The announcement comes days after rumors began to circulate that the company is in financial trouble yet again, a mere 2 months after its CEO, Mark Arciero, went before the Altus Municipal Trust Authority and asked for a million dollar loan.

Several anonymous e-mails and calls have been placed to the Altus Times claiming that not only have QMA employee hours been dropped from 40 to 24 since Oct. 6, but also their health benefits have been canceled.

Tracy Thomason, vice president of business development for QMA, explained that the resizing is vital to the success of the company.

"Everybody right now is feeling the economic crunch," he said. "So we don't have to close our doors completely, we have implemented this temporary downsizing."

In a special meeting back in September, the Municipal Trust Authority agreed to loan QMA $200,000 as part of a temporary loan agreement with the city.

Days before, Arciero had explained to the board that QMA was so far in the red, it did not even have enough money to pay its more than 140 employees and staff on its next scheduled payday.

Arciero also assured the MTA that an investment endorsement between Riviere Jenson Securities, Ltd. of Austin, Texas and QMA would produce enough money to pay back the loan and ease the company's financial burden with a net amount of $120,000,000.

But in the press release, Arciero said, "The final piece of the puzzle is the Bond and we are extremely confident that it will be in place late November."

Thomason said that the company is only going by the information that is being given to them in regards to the loan.

One employee alleges that company payday was last Friday and no one has received a paycheck yet.

Thomason said that QMA is working to ensure that all employee payroll and health benefits stay in effect during the temporary resizing.

Several attempts to were made to contact Arciero for a comment, but he has not returned phone calls.

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