Peavey Shifts Jobs

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The founder of Peavey Electronics said times have changed in the audio and musical equipment business.

"You would be hard pressed to find a piece of consumer audio gear still made in the United States and the simple reason is people want more bang for the buck," said Hartley Peavey.

Peavey's plant in Foley, Ala., was one of the company's specialty plants.

"(In Foley) We make stamped frame speakers. We never made stamped frame speakers here in Meridian, but we did make cast frame speakers, cast aluminum," Peavey said.

There have been 78 workers at the Foley plant. Peavey said some of those jobs will come here.

"It'll probably mean between 40 and 50 additional jobs to Meridian," Peavey said more and more outsourcing is going overseas, principally because labor and operating costs are so cheap.

"We need to realize that we're in competition with people all over the world. As a matter of fact, as I'm fond to say, no longer is Peavey just competing with companies. We're competing with countries," he said.

Peavey said increased taxes, healthcare and government-controlled operating expenses are a factor in the U.S.

"I'm going to keep jobs in Meridian. I'm going to keep jobs in the U.S. as long as I possibly can," said Peavey. "But, of course, that's predicated on our people being willing to work, be willing to grow and educate themselves, and that's also dependent on the consumer being willing to buy American made goods, albeit at a slightly higher price."

Peavey said the American consumer is voting with his or her pocketbook.