Ingersoll Rand lays off 21

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'Hopefully it is going to be short lived.'

By James Roberts

In what the company hopes is only a temporary move, Ingersoll Rand has laid off 21 employees. The announcement came Friday and was effective on Monday."Hopefully, it is going to be short lived," said Joe Fair, human resources manager. "It could change. We just don't know."

The 21 employees amount to 10 percent of the air compressor manufacturer's local workforce and brings the number of current employees to 175.

Fair said the slowing economy led to the layoffs.

"We held off as long as we could. We started seeing this in December and orders kept falling off. We had too many workers and not enough work."

Team Taylor County Executive Director Ron McMahan said the announcement is further proof that national economic issues are hitting home.

"This is another unfortunate example of how the national economic slowdown continues to trickle down to our local employers. Hopefully, the federal government's proposed stimulus plans will jumpstart the economy, restore confidence in the financial markets and put people back to work, sooner rather than later."

This is the second batch of layoffs to be announced in as many months. In December, Murakami Manufacturing USA laid off 28 employees.

Ingersoll Rand's Campbellsville plant opened in October of 1969 in the former home of Reed Candy Co., a spot it still calls home today. By the end of its first year in production, Ingersoll Rand boasted 40 employees. The company had 196 employees before the layoffs.

Anywhere from 300 to 350 compressors are assembled at the Campbellsville facility per day. In 2006, the plant shipped 84,000 compressors throughout North America. About 10 percent go to Latin America.

- Staff Writer James Roberts can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 226 or by e-mail at writer@cknj.com. Comment on this story at www.cknj.com.