Rogue mill brings back 100 jobs

| Print |  Email
Articles - February 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011

0211_MillThe reopening of a plywood plant in Rogue River has brought 108 jobs and a bit of optimism to a lumber-dependent region hit especially hard by the economic downturn. Shuttered in 2008 as the housing market collapsed, the plant was purchased in early 2010 by Eugene-based Murphy Company for $3.6 million and reopened two months ago.

The plant opened in the early 1950s and has changed hands eight times. The previous owner, Milwaukie-based Panel Products, nearly doubled the floor space and added new machinery. They transformed the plant from a log-to-veneer operation to a veneer-to-plywood operation in hopes of cashing in on the housing bubble, says Murphy’s president John Murphy. But the bubble burst and so did the company.

More than 400 people applied for the open positions, including many former employees. “It’s an area that has had skilled labor unemployed for two years,” says Murphy.

Murphy bought the plant out of receivership at a discount, banking on a modest resurgence in national housing starts. “I’m not a believer that we’re coming out of the housing problem overnight,” says Murphy. Though he says industry analysts expect about 675,000 national housing starts in 2011, “We’re budgeting for around 640,000.”

Murphy Company is not the only one benefiting from the reopening. According to Rogue River city administrator Mark Reagles, the plant accounted for roughly 5%-8% of municipal water treatment receipts. The city also lost tax revenues from the closure.

“When you’re running a tight ship, that kind of loss can affect [you],” he says.

Depending on market conditions, Murphy says that three or more shifts will be added to the plant. “Anything in this economic climate is important and welcome,” says Reagles. “It makes the community look good.”

PETER BELAND
 

More Articles

Child care challenge

September 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
0927OHSUhealthystarts-thumbBY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER

Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.


Read more...

Staffing Challenge

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.


Read more...

Downtime with Debra Ringold

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University


Read more...

Aim High

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

We get the education we deserve.


Read more...

Storyteller in Chief: Natural Prophets

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN

Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.


Read more...

Up on the Roof

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

In 2010 Vanessa Keitges and several investors purchased Portland-based Columbia Green Technologies, a green-roof company. The 13-person firm has a 200% annual growth rate, exports 30% of its product to Canada and received its first infusion of venture capital in 2014 from Yaletown Venture Partners. CEO Keitges, 40, a Southern Oregon native who serves on President Obama’s Export Council, talks about market innovation, scaling small business and why Oregon is falling behind in green-roof construction. 


Read more...

5 questions for ImpactFlow CEO Tyler Foreman

The Latest
Thursday, August 13, 2015
impactflowthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Portland-based startup ImpactFlow recently announced a $5.7 million funding round. CEO and co-founder Tyler Foreman talks about matching businesses with nonprofits, his time at Intel and the changing face of philanthropy.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS