Less than two years ago, Toll Brothers opened a wholly-owned house-component manufacturing company in Knox, Ind., to serve the Midwest. Now, the Horsham, Pa.-based builder is laying off about a quarter of the people who work there.

Toll laid off 20 of the 80 workers at the plant, according to the Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana. The plant, which opened in May 2006, was originally slated to employ approximately 200 workers by the end of 2007.

When the plant first opened, things were much better in the Midwest, which is now plagued with "record softness," according to Kira McCarron, chief marketing officer and senor vice president for Toll Brothers.

The Knox facility is one of the three manufacturing plants in the Toll Integrated Systems group. The others are in Morrisville, Pa., north of Philadelphia, and Emporia, Va., on the Virginia-North Carolina border.