Plastics firm part of Vette - Fort Wayne Journal Gazette feature story
firm part of ’Vette
CSP invests in Huntington site to prepare for work on iconic GM sports
Source: Justin A. Cohn, The Journal Gazette, 5/23/13
When it came to
expanding facilities and increasing the workforce at the Continental Structural
Plastics Inc. facility in Huntington, there was no hesitation.
Not when it came to
getting deeply involved with the 2015 Corvette line, even if the economy is
“Historically, from the
Corvette product line, they are usually very strong and I don’t know that the peaks
and valleys are the same,” Jerry Reid, the plant manager, said last month.
automotive industry will follow those peaks and valleys, but people that buy
Corvettes don’t usually follow that same trend. It will be a good product line
for us, and a very stable product line going forward for us.”
CSP, a supplier of
exterior body panels and structural composites, is close to completing a
$6.3-million renovation in Huntington, which was first announced Nov. 14, 2012.
“There’s been a lot of
activity, there’s no doubt about it,” Reid said. “The community, everybody, is
really engaged and excited about what’s going on in the Huntington facility.”
Reid said in April
renovations were 90 percent finished – “it’s more the finite stuff we need to
get completed, like writing logic between the machines and the nitty gritty
like that.” The hiring of about 50 new employees is expected in the fourth
quarter of this year.
That will bring the CSP
on-site workforce to about 336 people, all of whom will be a part of what
advanced engineering director Steve Pelczarski called one of the more exciting
cars on the horizon.
“There is a lot of
excitement for this car within General Motors and with the public,” he said. “It’s
a beautiful car and it will have a lot of potential to sell.”
CSP will be looking for
people of various skill sets to add to the facility, from engineers to
“There’s going to be a
lot of hourly and people from a lot of different functional groups, from
materials to engineering, quality, every functional group we will probably add
some headcounts,” Reid said. “We’ve been pretty lucky. Huntington and the
surrounding counties have been pretty good to pull from and to find the right
caliber people for our needs.”
Before landing the Corvette,
the CSP facility was already manufacturing products for GM and Ford, and none
of those operations will be affected by the Corvette line.
“This is just an add-on
to the portfolio we had in Huntington. We didn’t have to move anything out and
it didn’t impact any of our other customers,” Reid said.
“That’s one of the nice
things, right? It’s a nice problem to have, when you are consuming a bunch of
your open capacity in the plant. It’s a nice problem for this facility to have.”
CSP has been in Huntington
since 2010, when operations from northwest Ohio were transferred to the
facility at 1890 Riverfork Drive, the former Meridian Automotive Systems Inc.
plant, which had been dormant for two years.
Reid lauded the
relationship that CSP has had with Huntington as a reason for the growth at the
“The community here, the
city and county, have been great to work with,” Reid said. “They’ve cut through
a lot of red tape for us and done a lot of good things for CSP as a whole, to
be part of the corporate network in Huntington County. I tip my hat to those
guys, the Mayor, Brooks Fetters, and Mark Wickersham (executive director of
Huntington County Economic Development). They have gone above and beyond to
help CSP feel at home and take advantage of the incentives in not only the
county and the city, but also the state.”
The result is a new
production line – and new jobs – for a facility growing in reputation.
historically, Huntington has been the top Class A, (Sheet Molding Compound)
body panel maker in the industry,” Pelczarski said.
Name: Continental Structural Plastics
Address: 1890 Riverfork Drive,
exterior body panels and structural composites components for automobiles
of employees: 286
to hire: About
Pay: Hourly jobs pay $10 to $20;
salaried jobs $40,000 to $50,000 annually.
to apply: Monitor
Top photo: Jet
Mechanical workers John Johnson, left, and Jason Lowry prep the C7 machining
cell area. (Photo credit: Swikar Patel, The Journal Gazette)
Middle photo: Parts
enter the paint booth at Continental Structural Plastics in Huntington. (Photo
credit: Swikar Patel, The Journal Gazette)
Bottom photo: Kevin
Cagala, left, production manager, and Jerry Reid, plant manager, stand with
primed hoods. (Photo credit: Swikar Patel, The Journal Gazette)
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