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Rosco Will Move Plant Operations From SD to NC

Mon June 16, 2003 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

MADISON, S.D. (AP) State and local officials say they have exhausted all efforts to keep one of Madison’s largest employers from

leaving the state.

Last month, company officials said the Rosco manufacturing plant in Madison would be closing as the plant’s owner, LeeBoy Industries

of North Carolina, said it would move all its operations to North Carolina by the end of the year.

The move means about 100 Madison-area people will lose their jobs.

Shortly after the company’s announcement, South Dakota Tourism and State Development Secretary John Calvin said his office and

Madison’s Lake Area Improvement Corporation would work to keep the plant from moving.

But Calvin said June 13 that those efforts have been exhausted.

”We have been working on this deal, literally, around the clock,’ Calvin said in a news release. ”We’ve put together several packages,

including one where South Dakota investors were willing to purchase the company.

”We were really optimistic about it, but in the end, the company was not willing to sell.’

LeeBoy cited poor economic conditions as reason for the consolidation. Rosco makes road construction equipment.

Now, Calvin said the state is looking at other ways to help the displaced workers.

”The governor is keenly aware of the situation in Madison and directed us to do whatever we could to keep those jobs in South

Dakota,’ Calvin said. ”Right now, we are looking at some incentive packages for existing businesses in Madison that are willing to hire

displaced workers.’

Lake Area Improvement Corporation Executive Director Russell Olson said he is confident that Madison’s work force will draw

prospective employers.

”We have people driving in from 16 surrounding areas to work at this company,’ Olson said. ”These are obviously hardworking,

committed employees who will be an asset to any company willing to hire them.’

Rosco was founded in 1928 in Minneapolis. It was bought in 1980 by Leroy and Shelly Knuths, who moved it to Madison in 1983. The

Knuths family sold the company to LeeBoy in 2001.

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