LAFAYETTE’S ROPER PLANT HAS PUT MANY OF IT’S FURLOUGHED EMPLOYEES BACK TO WORK… AS DEMAND FOR ITS RANGES INCREASES.  HOUSING TAX CREDITS AND GROWING ECONOMIC STABILITY HAVE BROUGHT AN ESTIMATED 5 TO 10 PERCENT REBOUND IN THE MARKET.

ROPER HAD FURLOUGHED 300 EMPLOYEES IN 2009, ACCORDING TO SCOTT OSSEWAARDE, PRESIDENT.  THAT WAS CAUSED BY A 35 PERCENT DROP IN DEMAND, DUE TO THE COLLAPSE IN THE HOUSING MARKET.  THE PLANT CURRENTLY EMPLOYS 1,300… HAVING RECALLED SOME WORKERS.  MANY ARE NOW INSOURCING SUB-ASSEMBLIES AT THE SPRAWLING ROPER FACILITY IN LAFAYETTE.  WALKER COUNTY’S LARGEST INDUSTRIAL EMPLOYER THAT OPENED IN 1973. 

OSSEWAARDE SAID BEING LOCATED IN LAFAYETTE GIVES ROPER A GEOGRAPHIC ADVANTAGE WITH A TRANSPORTATION EDGE OVER FOREIGN APPLIANCE MANUFACTURERS.

WQCH