Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Growing metal fabricator seeks workers

Posted on Jan. 11, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 11, 2014 at 11:46 a.m.

ELKHART — A rapidly growing Elkhart company hopes an upcoming job fair will help it fill about 30 new positions in a tightening labor market.

MOR/ryde has scheduled the job fair from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at its 23205 Cooper Drive plant. The positions include welders, quality inspectors, painters, general assembly and machine operators, such as laser, press brake and saws, said Tracie Archambault, manager of employee services. The positions pay from $9.50 an hour to $15 an hour, depending on experience.

MOR/ryde is riding recent growth in the recreational vehicle and bus manufacturing segments. The company does custom metal fabrication, which includes stretching chassis for RV and bus makers.

As the county’s unemployment rate continues to drop, Archambault said it has become tougher to find qualified applicants for new jobs, especially those that require specialized skills, such as machine operators, press brake operators and welders. The company has increased its wage rates for such jobs to attract more applicants, she said.

The job fair will include on-the-spot interviews and welding tests.

MOR/ryde trains entry-level assembly workers who demonstrate good work ethic and punctuality to become welders.

The company seeks workers for all three of its plants — the Cooper Drive site and plants on Grant Street and Moyer Avenue. But most of these 30 new jobs will be added at Cooper Drive, where an expansion was completed in December. A rezoning the company needed for that expansion drew opposition from the site’s residential neighbors, who worried about noise and the new building coming in between the neighborhood and Eastwood Elementary. Despite the opposition, county commissioners approved the rezoning in May.

The company then said the expansion would create up to 60 new jobs. Archambault said that estimate remains accurate.

MOR/ryde employs 518 people at its three plants, a 73 percent increase from its 300 workers two years ago, Archambault said. There are 234 people working at Grant Street, 170 at Cooper Drive and 114 at Moyer Avenue.

An expansion of the Moyer Avenue plant is underway and should be finished this spring. That plant will add more workers over the course of the year, Archambault said.