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|Articles - February 2011|
|Thursday, January 27, 2011|
The 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.”
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR
More than 250 people turned out today for Oregon Business magazine’s seventh annual celebration of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in Oregon.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation with Gene Pelham, CEO of Rogue Credit Union.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ANNIE ELLISON
Portland tech veteran Ben Berry is leaving his post as Portland’s chief technology officer for a full-time role producing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) aimed at first responders and the military. Berry’s AirShip Technologies Group is poised to be on the ground floor of an industry that will supply drones to as many as 100,000 police, fire and emergency agencies nationwide. He reveals the plan for takeoff.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
As momentum grows at the state level to introduce far-reaching environmental regulations, such as carbon pricing and the Clean Fuels Program, Oregon employers continue to go the extra mile to create green workplaces for their employees.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
On April 1 I attended a forum at the University of Portland on the sharing economy. The event featured panelists from Lyft and Airbnb, as well as Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Asked about the impact of tech-driven sharing economy services. Hales said the new business models are reshaping the landscape. “But,” he added, “I don’t pretend to understand how a lot of this [technology] works.”
Thursday, April 02, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Are mornings the most productive part of the day? We ask five successful executives how they get off to a good start.
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
Male tech workers speak out on the industry's gender troubles.
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Tonkon Torp helps seed sustainability at Gunderson.
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34 spots for food, 17 places to sip, and 7 sites to choose a brew beckon visitors.