The Times Journal & Russell County News
Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY — russellcounty.net
Get online news updates FREE - Subscribe:  [?]
Google

Economy putting pressure on local manufacturing businesses as industrial authority works to keep and bring in jobs
In Oct. 9-15 Issue
By Greg Wells
Times Journal Managing Editor

A five-hundred and eight point drop on Tuesday, and one analyst reports that the stock market's Dow Jones average has lost 36 percent of its value since this time last year.

Foreign markets have dropped repeatedly in the last weeks as news of the "sub-prime mortgage crisis" is leading many economists to say the word they refused to all summer, recession.

Locally, though the news isn't all roses, there are bright spots.

Gene Royalty Director of the Russell County Industrial Authority reports that many of the local businesses like BRUSS, Tantus Tobacco, Hitachi and Fruit of the Loom are doing well or at the least holding their own.

"For 25-years we were in a growth pattern. Now we are in a holding pattern," said Superior Battery President Randy Hart.

He said the 20 or so people laid off by his firm recently was about 13 percent of the workforce and was part of the company's desire to improve efficiency on their production line.

"I don't' know that we've ever stepped back before - It wasn't that… It was more of a leaning out," Hart explained.

He said there are changes afoot in the battery business and some are challenges and others could be blessings but for the present time they would become a more lean company and prepare for "new technology" that they were bringing on line in the spring.

Though he wouldn't elaborate on exactly what they were bringing in to the plane just yet he did talk at length about what other companies were doing in the industry and new battery technology that was coming to the forefront.

"We're watching the developments in fuel cells," he said and then described several other exotic battery processes that are in development around the country.

Terry Stephens, president of Stephens' Pile and Steel, said they had laid off workers recently, a total of about 100 people recently.

This time last year he said his firm employed about 424 people locally and now employs 335. He said that employment fluxuates naturally through the year but this year they weathered two storms.

First he said tariffs on imported steel drove the prices up on raw materials and now demand has fallen off in August and September as much as it traditionally would have in December and January.

"Its like winter came early this year," Stephens said.

Slow-downs in the government sector as well as in the private sector have cut into sales, while increases in material prices every three or four weeks during the spring and summer were impacting other numbers.

"Ask them at the hardware store," Stephens added. "The price of nails went up three or four-hundred percent this spring."

But there are some sectors of the business that are still strong. Stephens said they will be shipping product to the Guantanamo Naval Station and Iraq but domestic military orders are down.

The industrial authority is working though to improve the employment situation, with a new "Spec" building going up in the French Valley Industrial Park.

"I believe they'll beat their completion date," Royalty said.

The building is to attract new business to the area. He said that even if a business doesn't elect to locate in their building the way Hitachi did just having the building gives the county the chance to show off the industrial park to businesses that may be more interested in building to suit their needs.

There have been several announcements around Kentucky of new businesses locating in the commonwealth and getting a piece of that is part of what the authority is about.

Royalty explained that retaining and expanding the business already located here is also part of their mission and a big help to that is the local adult education system.

He said the program to train and certify applicants has been hailed by local employers as improving the quality of applicants and workers.

Royalty also credited the efforts of the employers themselves at expanding and diversifying their product lines to supply domestic and foreign customers.

"BRUSS should be ready to hire new people in March or so," Royalty said. "Hitachi is moving some more of their business to this plant from the New Albany Indiana plant."

In all, the local manufacturing base has added about 500 jobs over the last few years Royalty said, and plans are for that trend to continue.

Those two plants are expanding, Superior is adding new equipment in the spring and Fruit of the Loom is in the process of adding to the local production facility, Royalty stressed.

"Lilly Creek is doing very well," he added saying that the new road at the French Valley Road park would be finished soon and that the new building would be ready to show very soon.

"That park shows really well with that new road and new building," He said with a smile.

Content Management Powered by CuteNews
SUBSCRIBE to The Times Journal: CLICK HERE

SPONSORED LINKS


Publish Yourself PUBLISH YOURSELF
You can publish news about your group or organization directly to our site, using your computer.
CLICK HERE
Laker Band LAKER BAND
Visit the award-winning official web site for the Russell County Marching Band.
CLICK HERE
Lake Cumberland Web Cams LIVE WEB CAMS
Views of Lake Cumberland as it is right now, from a number of web cams.
CLICK HERE
Lake Cumberland LAKE CUMBERLAND
lakecumberland.com
Official site for Lake Cumberland with everything for the lake visitor and fisherman.
CLICK HERE
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
-
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Phone: 270-866-3191
Fax: 270-866-3198
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
-
404 Monument Square
Jamestown KY 42629
Phone: 270-343-5700
Publisher:
David Davenport
(publisher@tjrcn.com)
Managing Editor:
Greg Wells
(editor@tjrcn.com)
News & Sports Editor:
Derek Aaron
(sports@tjrcn.com)
Advertising Manager:
Stephanie Smith
(ads@tjrcn.com)
Business Manager:
Kim Haydon
(business@tjrcn.com)
Production Manager:
Renee Daffron
(people@tjrcn.com)
Jamestown Office:
Kim Graham
(rcnoffice@tjrcn.com)
PUBLIC MEETINGS
Members of the public may attend meetings. Boards or agencies may schedule other meetings at special times, but are required to notify the public.
FISCAL COURT: 2nd Monday of month, 6 p.m. in the Courthouse
RUSSELL SPRINGS CITY: 2nd Thursday of month, 6 p.m. in the City Hall Municipal Room
JAMESTOWN CITY: 3rd Thursday of month, 6 p.m. in basement meeting room at City Hall
SCHOOL BOARD: 3rd Monday of month, 6:30 p.m., Board of Education office in Jamestown
LIBRARY BOARD: 2nd Tuesday of month, 5 p.m. at Jamestown Library
AIRPORT BOARD: 1st Tuesday of month, 5 p.m. at Airport
TOURISM COMMISSION: 2nd Wednesday of month, 12:30 p.m. at Tourism Office
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: 3rd Tuesday of month, noon at The Cove restaurant
LOCAL & AREA
NEWS SITES
The links below open new windows. We are not responsible for the content of the sites.
Laker Country WJRS
(Russell Springs)
lakercountry.com/
WKYM-1017 (Monticello)
wkym.com/
Adair Progress (Columbia)
adairprogress.com/
Casey County News (Liberty)
caseynews.net/
Clinton County News (Albany)
clintonnews.net/
Cumberland County News (Burkesville)
burkesville.com/ccn/
Wayne County Outlook (Monticello)
wcoutlook.com/
Somerset
Commonwealth-Journal
somerset-kentucky.com/
Danville
Advocate-Messenger
amnews.com/
Lexington Herald-Leader
kentucky.com/
Louisville Courier-Journal
courier-journal.com/
WKYT-TV, Lexington
wkyt.com/
WBKO-TV, Bowling Green
wbko.com/
USEFUL SITES
The links below open new windows. We are not responsible for the content of the sites.

RUSSELL CO. OFFICIALS
RUSSELL COUNTY SCHOOLS
RUSSELL CO. LIBRARY

LAKE CUMBERLAND
STATE RESORT PARK
TV LISTINGS:
Choose your service and provider
SOMERSET MOVIE SHOWTIMES

.