Jackson Co. company could expand because of airport security concerns

By Doug Walker – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) – There's a flurry of activity on the production floor at Rapiscan in Jackson County. Workers are busy building the new body scanning machines that are about to be shipped to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Tom Schoemann is the Operations Manager at Rapiscan.

"We have been tasked to deliver 150 machines between the December and the April time frame," Schoemann said. "We are on schedule to deliver 40 this month which will be deployed in airports in January."

The plant recently hired an additional 25 people to meet the demand, and they are working 60 hours a week.  Because of the recent terrorism incident, federal officials are seriously considering placing the $150,000 body scanners in most airports. Schoemann said that would be good news for his company.

"We'll have to double our staff. We'll have to add an additional 25 jobs and go to a second shift of operation."

Even with concerns about airport security and safety, the body scanning technology issue is not without controversy.  There have been some privacy concerns raised with the use of the machines.

Even though Rapiscan will gain business and profits from any additional orders, there's an even greater calling at play here, according to Schoemann.

"There's a great deal of pride that goes into this. And everyone up there realizes what's at stake here and what they're doing."

And what they are doing is earning a living while helping to protect our country at the same time.

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