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Rural King

Murray Mower Plant to get new lease on life as Craftsman facility?

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The old Murray Mower plant in Lawrenceburg (Lawrence Co) may have a more permentant lease on life after a scheduled announcement by Swisher Mower & Machine Co. of Warrensburg, Mo this Thursday. The company took on temporary operations at the old Murray facility and hired 200 employers last winter to produce Craftsman Mowers. Murray ceased operations last year, laid off its 1,200 employees, and sold its name to Briggs & Stratton in a major economic blow to the region.

So hopefully the news will be that the Lawrenceburg plant will become a permenant operation for the Swisher Co. Even better would be if it was to become permenant and expand its operations with the addition of jobs. So lets keep our fingers crossed for the folks down in Lawrenceburg!

Source - The Tennessean:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...ESS01/604250331

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This would be huge news for that area. They have seen a number of jobs lost recently and this would hopefully turn the tide a bit.

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Great news indeed. Thank you Swisher Mower and Machine Company. I may have to buy a Craftman mower the next time I'm looking for one.

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Good mowers. I have a Craftsman push mower that I bought back in 97 and it's going strong after a $100 repair. Last year, I bought another one when the first one broke down (I ran over a huge rock :( ). I use it for backup.

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I have a craftsman Weed trimmer... great tool indeed!

I sure hope they can land an operation in that old facility... sure is a lot of jobs lost

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Things are bad here; Lawrenceburg already had (had) the highest unemployment level in the state at 13% before Murray even closed its door and now I don't have a clue what the unemployment level is today. During Murray

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^ Sad but true, but lots of smaller towns allow one major manufacturer run the show. Some are wising up as more and more older domestic manufacturers move oversees and are trying to lure newer industries and manufacturing entities in before their current big employer goes out because of relocation and/or because of the age of the facility. Often the manufacturers coming in to smaller towns in the south are northern plants relocating for cheaper domestic labor, or are increasingly more sought after foreign firms searching for good geographic and labor cost locations to set up operations within the US.

My hope is that if Swisher becomes permenant in the Murray facility it will be able to hire on more folks to help out the situation in L'burg.

Lawrenceburg still has sizable a DURA plant that makes auto parts (for Ford I think). It still employs 600 according to TNECD.

I looked up what other industries were in L'burg since DURA was the only other one I new of, and there are a handful of others ones that employ over 100:

Graphic Packaging 308

Modine Manufacturing 220

Assurance Packaging 170

Hughs Parker Ind. 150

You can look at the datesheet for Lawerenceburg here on the TNECD website:

http://www.tnecd.net/prospect/comdatarpt.asp?id=Lawrenceburg

Overall it would definately appear that there is a major decline/lack of manufacturing jobs in the city. Manufacturing is what towns this size thrive/survive on.

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Things are bad here; Lawrenceburg already had (had) the highest unemployment level in the state at 13% before Murray even closed its door and now I don't have a clue what the unemployment level is today. During Murray

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Coming from small-ville myself, I have seen this before. Two points: 1) don't put all your eggs in one basket. Is better to have five 800 employee companies vs. one 4,000 employee company. And 2) local politics are at hand here. I can only guess as to the extent, but in a small town, those in control will maintain an iron fist against any new development(s) (sadly). I've seen a company told to 'buzz-off'

4,000? One plant? That's huge. Keep the faith L'burgnative, old money dies off and moves away

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^ Sad but true, but lots of smaller towns allow one major manufacturer run the show. Some are wising up as more and more older domestic manufacturers move oversees and are trying to lure newer industries and manufacturing entities in before their current big employer goes out because of relocation and/or because of the age of the facility. Often the manufacturers coming in to smaller towns in the south are northern plants relocating for cheaper domestic labor, or are increasingly more sought after foreign firms searching for good geographic and labor cost locations to set up operations within the US.

My hope is that if Swisher becomes permenant in the Murray facility it will be able to hire on more folks to help out the situation in L'burg.

Lawrenceburg still has sizable a DURA plant that makes auto parts (for Ford I think). It still employs 600 according to TNECD.

I looked up what other industries were in L'burg since DURA was the only other one I new of, and there are a handful of others ones that employ over 100:

Graphic Packaging 308

Modine Manufacturing 220

Assurance Packaging 170

Hughs Parker Ind. 150

You can look at the datesheet for Lawerenceburg here on the TNECD website:

http://www.tnecd.net/prospect/comdatarpt.asp?id=Lawrenceburg

Overall it would definately appear that there is a major decline/lack of manufacturing jobs in the city. Manufacturing is what towns this size thrive/survive on.

My neighbor is retired engineer from Dura and he and several others have told me that Dura is packing up and moving to Mexico. On the bright side it was reported be our local paper (the Advocate) that there will be some big announcement regarding Swisher Mower & Machine Co. future in Lawrenceburg today, I will inform later. For more info about this, our two local papers may have web sites: Democrat Union and the Lawrence County Advocate.

Also I appreciate you guys for your concerns and interest of my hometown.

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The announcement has been made and Pinnacle Properties Management Group of Bloomington, IN, has bought the more than 2 million square foot facility and is going to rehab it to the tune of 25 million dollars. Pinnacle's goal is to lease out the space to several different firms in order to fill the facility to full capacity, and is already in talks with firms to accomplish that goal. Currently Swisher Mower & Machine builds lawnmowers in part of the facility, while a local firm, Assurance Packaging, also currently occupies space stamping metal pieces for Swisher.

Pinnacle Property Management specializes in rehabbing distressed industrial properties, and has operations in 6 states. Pinnacle has renamed the Murray facility "Tennessee Enterprise Center", which is its first operation in the state.

The Tennessee article also told of how very highly Swisher spoke of the workers and community in Lawrenceburg, and how that was a major draw of the company to set up operation in L'burg. The Tennessee article was very positive on the community and this project, so check out the Tennessean article here:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...ESS01/604280402

Source: The Tennessean

Not quite what I expected, but it could work out just as well or better. Perhaps Pinnacle Group now that its in Tennessee might find other facilities throughout the state to rehab in similar fashions. The old Emerson Plant in Paris, TN comes to mind for me.

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Hey I think this is great, maybe can go back to work. It's funny in a way; Lawrenceburg has a lot of traffic for a town its size. First let me tell you a little about Lawrenceburg, from downtown Lawrenceburg runs north up US-43. There is not a lot commercially on US-64 or US-43 south of Lawrenceburg so everything is all on about a two mile stretch of road (I'm only taking about commercial not residential). So anyways what is funny is that there is no rush hours, 12:00am is as busy as 4:30pm or 5:00pm because no one is working in this town. So, maybe people can get back to work.

And yes, there is a lot of work and repair that will be needed for this facility. Murray use to just dump their chemicals there on sight and then later build or add on to the facility right on top of where they dumped their chemicals. The facility is also not air-conditioned, and I here that it is unbearable during the summer month. I have heard that it would be cheaper for someone to build new then to do the needed repairs to the old Murray plant, so I am surprised that it is only going to cost them $25 million to rehab it.

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wow, it seems to me that something like that shouldn't have gone on inside our country, when you can form labor unions, and at least get air conditioning....

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Most of the facility was really old from what I gather and according to TNECD it was a union plant under Murray. There are manufacturing plants/facilities all over the south and the US for that matter that don't have air-conditioning, they just use huge fans to cool the plant, as its cheaper than updating the plant to A/C and/or paying to cool a massive plant floor.

Big examples that first come to my mind due to my location would be MTD (over 1000 employees) in Martin and Goodyear (2400ish) in Union City, but I imagine most plants across are not air-conditioned due to their size, with plants with A/C being in the minority.

On a sidenote: I just bought a Craftsman push-mower a month ago, and I have to say it the best push mower I have ever used and mows my yard in about half the time it used to take with my old mower. Just used it yesterday and it made me think about where it might have been made at, so now I'm kind of hoping that it could have been made at the Swisher operation in Lawrenceburg.

@L'burgnative - Do you know what types of mowers Swisher is producing for Craftsman in Lawrenceburg?

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^Also, Briggs & Straton engines are made at the plant in Murray, Ky. Although my mower is not Craftsmen, it does have a Briggs motor

One other note is that Emerson Tool division makes a lot of the Craftsmen stuff you see (like shop-vacs, etc.) and we have some Emerson plants around here still

Yes, I'm one of those 'Buy American' people...

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