Rohr Aircraft Memories
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Rohr Auburn, Washington
Major leased facility
After Rohr's success in Winder, Georgia, Rohr "established an engine build up facility for Boeing-- supplying aft fuselage section for the 707" two miles south of Auburn, Washington (a suburb south of Seattle) in 1956 which opened in 1957. Former Auburn mayor and Boeing engineer Wayland Scarff met with Fred Rohr and Joe Rheim and "arranged for an option on the 80-acre tract the Company later acquired, making certain that adequate utilities, such as water, light, power, sewage outlets, and access roads would be available." The building Rohr occupied and leased was a former box factory near Boeing's Renton facility. Later the company would build a 39,000 square foot plant on the property. In 1969 the plant grew to 105,000 square feet (Kepos, 1994; Austin, 1969; Barron's, 1957, p. 36; Rohr, 1987; Douglass, 1992).
The Seattle Times stated that this 'plant will assemble "power packages" -- engines, cowlings and accessories -- for Boeing KC-135 jet tankers and Model 707 jet transports. The first unit of the plant, a 33,000-square-foot structure, is expected to be completed next fall. Rohr will begin operationsin a leased building in Auburn. The plant is expected to require a payroll of 200 to 500 persons' (June 25, 1956).
Rohr Riverside's 1980s Handbook for Salaried Employees stated that the Auburn facility does final assembly on engine subsystems for The Boeing Company." "It also prepares tubing and assembles electrical wiring for engine systems. The 112,000 square-foot facility is located 24 acres south of Seattle" (Rohr, 1987).
By 1990, Rohr Auburn was employing 180 people (Rohr, 1990).
Rohr "announced it will close its 170-employee, Auburn, Wash., plant within four months and move work to other plants. Rohr would not say if any of the work would be brought to Chula Vista" (Douglass, 1992).
Rohr closed the Auburn facility in the early 1990's to improve production efficiency and to increase the use of it's other facilities. Rohr closed the Auburn plant in fiscal year 1993 and proceeded to sell it (Rohr, p. 23, 29).
What are some of your memories of working at Rohr in Auburn? Please send your photos and your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can post them here. Thanks!
Douglass, E. (1992, May 22). Rohr hit by big loss in quarter. The San Diego Union - Tribune, pp. C.1. Retrieved from Proquest July 29, 2011.
The Seattle Times. (1956, June 25).