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  • Daktronics to Buy Artesyn Plant and Hire Workers
Dec 2006
BROOKINGS, S.D., Dec. 15, 2006 -- South Dakota-based Daktronics Inc. recently a major expansion that involves hiring some former Artesyn Technologies employees and its purchase of the Redwood Falls, Minn., building where they previously worked, to produce its line of Galaxy electronic message centers, primarily for the commercial market.

Artesyn Technologies, a subsidiary of Emerson Electric and Redwood Falls' largest employer, announced in late July it would close at the end of this year, leaving 240 people jobless and with few prospects for re-employment, according to news reports of the closing. The economic impact of the impending job losses would have been far-reaching in the community of 5500 residents, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported Thursday. Emerson Electric acquired Artesyn in March.

Daktronics said it expects to hire the existing management team from the Artesyn operation and to offer manufacturing positions to other Artesyn employees -- about 100 people -- but company officials said they anticipate annual employment growth of 20 percent or more. They said they expect Galaxy displays to begin coming off the production line by March 2007.

Daktronics is a supplier of digital billboards, electric highway signs, electronic scoreboards, computer-programmable displays, large-screen video displays, sports-venue sound systems and control systems. The Galaxy line includes monochrome and full-color displays designed for on-premise advertising, typically in front of retail businesses. The product manufactured in Redwood Falls will generate approximately 10 percent of the company’s revenues. Moving the Galaxy display production to Redwood Falls will allow more of the capacity at the Brookings facility to be dedicated to building products for the sports markets, the company said.

According to Jim Morgan, president and CEO of Daktronics, “We continue to look for the best ways to respond to the continuing growth opportunities in our business. One of our challenges has been finding enough new employees for our Brookings operation to meet the growing demand for our products.”

A new company called RVI Inc., a subsidiary of Montevideo-based Ritalka Inc., will also open in Redwood Falls and will provide power supply repair and upgrades for communications, computing and networking companies. RVI plans to hire 40 people initially. The companies were lured to the area in part by the state's Job Opportunity Building Zones (JOBZ) program, which offers tax incentives to companies that start up, expand or relocate in one of 10 designated regions of Greater Minnesota, the Journal said.

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