Patrick Richardson

Managing Editor

In the wake of the “significant downsizing” of the RSI Home Products plant in Columbus last week, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce along with the Columbus Community Crusaders has scheduled a job fair for former RSI employees.

“We just set it up with KansasWorks,” Chamber Director Jean Pritchett said Monday. “It’s scheduled for August 18th.”

Pritchett said they have commitments from two employers from Joplin and one from Pittsburg to be at the fair at the Columbus Community building and are hoping for more. She said she has also sent out notices to chamber members in Columbus inviting Columbus businesses with openings to participate as well.

Additionally, Coffeville Community College will be on hand as job retrianing money is available to some of those who lost their jobs as well.

Pritchett said the job fair, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the 18th is open only to former RSI employees.

Chief Operating Officer David Lowrie said last week the plant, which was one of the largest employers in Columbus, between 100 and 110 employees would be affected by the move of  various operations from the plant to different facilities across the country, including made-to-order kitchen and bath cabinets.

Lowrie said the move would leave a few operations intact in Columbus, including some engineering projects, sourcing and a wood processing operation.

Lowrie said the reason for the plant move was “simply a result of a change in consumer buying habits.

“Kansas was manufacturing products people weren’t buying,” he said.