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Briggs And Stratton To Close In Murray, 600 Jobs Affected


Briggs and Stratton is closing their Murray operation by fall 2020. About 600 full-time positions will be affected. 

The Milwaukee-based company announced on Thursday plans to consolidate production of its small vertical-shaft engines to its Poplar Bluff, Missouri facility. 

The Board of Murray Calloway County Economic Development Corporation said in a release on Thursday it "deeply regrets" the company's decision to close the Murray operation.


"The company, with over 3 decades of operations in Murray, has been a respected and generous member of the community and their absence will be a serious impact to our local and regional economy," wrote MCEDC President Mark Manning. “Sadly, the closure means lost wages in the tens of millions of dollars, which could lead to the need for local increased social services to help affected families.” 

Manning said city and county officials, as well as the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Tennessee Valley Authority have worked behind the scenes for months to try to forestall the decision, including creating an incentive package to try to keep the plant open as well as a “substantial financial investment” offered to the company. “Unfortunately, market conditions forced the company to make hard decisions to reduce their manufacturing footprint and the decision was made to close this plant. The decision is, unfortunately, irreversible,” wrote Manning. 

Briggs and Stratton said in a release the market for small vertical-shaft engines has been stable over the last several years but has not grown for various reasons, including a difficult housing market driven by the lack of affordable single-family homes.

"Our team in Murray has done great things over the three decades since the plant was established. We are grateful for their work and the support we have received from the local community and Commonwealth of Kentucky," said Todd Teske, Chairman, President & CEO of Briggs & Stratton Corporation.

The company said impacted employees will have the opportunity to relocate to another facility. The Poplar Bluff plant will be hiring to accommodate the increased production. 

The company anticipates an annualized pre-tax savings of $12 million to $14 million, with $10 million by fiscal year 2021. Total charges related to consolidation are expected to total $30 million to $35 million over the FT 2020 and 2021.

This story will be updated as needed.

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Matt "McG" Markgraf joined the WKMS News Team in January 2007, while pursuing his bachelorâââ
"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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