Roper Corp. aerial view

Roper Corp., a subsidiary of GE Appliances and Walker County’s largest employer, will invest $118 million to expand its manufacturing operations, creating an additional 600 jobs in LaFayette. Roper Corp. currently employs 2,000 people in the surrounding region.

Walker County’s largest employer has announced it will invest $118 million to expand manufacturing operations at its plant, adding 600 new jobs.

Roper Corp., a subsidiary of GE Appliances, a Haier company, made the announcement Dec. 21. The plant, at 1507 Broomtown Road in LaFayette, currently employs 2,000 people and produces cooktops, free-standing ranges and wall ovens under the Monogram, Café, GE Profile, GE, Haier and Hotpoint brands.

“Roper Corp. has been a key part of Walker County for almost 50 years,” Roper Corp. President Lois Crandell said. “Our relationships are strong, and we have thrived here.”

The expansion more firmly cements the company’s continued investment in the community. In 2019 GE Appliances invested $43 million in the plant and created 100 jobs. Despite the job losses and shuttering of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Crandell, in October 2020, said the plant could not hire enough people because the industry was booming.

The expansion, scheduled to be completed in 2024, will not only boost employment to 2,600, but will also increase production capacity and enable manufacturing technology to be advanced.

“This announcement is a testament to our strong logistics infrastructure, which is supported by the Appalachian Regional Port, and to our strong talent pipeline in northwest Georgia,” Gov. Brian Kemp said, praising the investment by the Georgia Made-certified company.

Georgia Made is a state program acknowledging the people and industries responsible for manufacturing a wide variety of products across the state.

GE Appliances also annually spends $77 million with Georgia-located suppliers.

“Investing in U.S. manufacturing allows us to be closer to our consumers and serve them better, which is critical to GE Appliances’ business strategy,” said Bill Good, vice president of manufacturing at GE Appliances. “Our partnership with Georgia is strong and getting stronger as we continue to build innovative, industry-first cooking products at Roper.”

The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Global Commerce division partnered with Walker County Development Authority, the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority, Georgia Quick Start and North Georgia EMC on the project.

“This decision didn’t happen overnight,” said Robert Wardlaw, Walker County economic development director and director of the county’s development authority. “Over the past couple of years, our team has focused on removing obstacles that hinder job growth, including housing and transportation. We have an amazing relationship with the folks at Roper and GE Appliances and I’m thankful for their willingness to partner with us on solutions.”

The county has increased housing opportunities and launched this year a new transit route to provide Roper first shift employees with reliable transportation to and from the plant, with direct pick-up and drop-off locations in Rossville, Chickamauga and LaFayette, according to a Walker County government news release.

“As the county’s largest employer, Roper Corp. has been a valuable corporate citizen for many decades,” said Walker County Board of Commissioners Chairman Shannon Whitfield. “We admire their commitment to community outreach, and we are grateful for their continued desire to grow locally. This expansion will provide opportunities to strengthen our workforce and the community as a whole.”

Roper employees volunteer regularly with local organizations. The company has also donated generators, flashlights, cell phone chargers and coolers to tornado victims, and appliances and critical supplies to healthcare workers, firefighters, paramedics and law enforcement officers, according to the county news release.

“Roper Corp. is a key member of our community, and I’m thrilled to see them continue to grow,” said LaFayette Mayor Andy Arnold, who also serves as the Walker County Development Authority’s chairman. “I’m also grateful for the partnership with (state) Sen. Jeff Mullis, the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority and the state of Georgia that helps local industry thrive by being responsive to their needs.”

New opportunities at the facility will include supervisory and management positions and careers in production and assembly. To apply for open positions, go to https://ropercorp.com/work-with-us/.

Catherine Edgemon is assistant editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and the Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

1
0
0
0
0

Tags

Recommended for you