Truland Systems Closes, Files for Bankruptcy

After more than 100 years in business, Washington, D.C.-based Truland Systems—the country’s tenth largest electrical contractor— has filed bankruptcy; permanently closing its doors and leaving hundreds of employees without jobs.

According to WJLA ABC 7, employees were told in an email late Sunday night on July 20—some of whom worked a 16-hour shift just that Saturday—not to return to work on Monday. Those that showed up were sent home and those with company cars were told to take the cars home. Employees were promised that they would be paid within a few days at most.

But that seems unlikely. In an effort to recover more than $1 million Truland owes employees in back wages, the electricians’ union, Local 26, filed a forced Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in hopes of liquidating the company’s assets. 

According to the Washington Business Journal, Truland retained the Baltimore-based restructuring firm Protiviti in April in hopes of selling the Reston-based company to investors to no avail. Instead, mounting debt, unpaid projects and an inability to cover payroll forced the company to close.

Truland is a third generation, family-owned company that has been in business for more than 100 years. According to WBJ, Truland was connected to most of the Washington D.C. area’s largest contracting companies, earning $371 million in local revenue in 2012.

Some of Truland’s clients included Clark Construction, Anheuser Busch and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit; as well as heavyweights like Nationals Park and the NASA Data Center. In fact, WJLA reports that employees were in the middle of working on upgrades to Metro’s Orange Line and had about 100 employees working on Inova Fairfax Hospital’s latest project when the company suddenly shut down.

Longtime Truland employee Roger Jacobus, interviewed by WJLA, believed he was owed more than an email.

“I don’t know how they got in this mess,” said longtime former Truland employee Roger Jacobus. “Nobody even explained anything to me. I never even got anything in the mail saying ‘Thanks for the 16 years of service.'”

He continued, “I don’t understand how a company of such magnitude can just call you in and say ‘everybody, have a nice day, we are shutting the doors.”

Truland was founded  in 1909 and headquartered in the D.C. metropolitan area. It was a leader in the design, construction and maintenance of electrical systems in both the public and private sectors.

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