As foreign investment shores up U.S. jobs, companies like Pemko part of new wave helping Memphis
By Ted Evanoff
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Hard times faced Memphis door hardware maker Pemko when the building boom began fading in 2007, slicing away 2 million construction jobs nationwide.
Instead of slashing jobs, Pemko added designers and engineers.
What happened at the Southeast Memphis plant reflects a quiet trend in the United States.
Foreign investment has flowed in, and begun to help brace companies and communities.
While 10 percent of Pemko's workers were let go in the past three years, managers say the company, which employs about 165 people in the city, was probably saved from a bigger fall by its new owner.
Assa Abloy, a Swedish door hardware conglomerate, in 2007 bought Pemko and brought in more orders. Pemko soon turned out more parts on complex enclosures designed by Abloy for buildings throughout North America.
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