Edward Fleming is following what he sees as a trend and moving his custom injection molding firm to an area east of Los Angeles known as the Inland Empire, which encompasses Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Pending approval of a bond issue and other vehicles for financing, Cal-Mold Inc. will move to a new, $5 million plant in Mira Loma that is scheduled to be completed next summer. Fleming is obtaining assistance from the Economic Development Agency of Riverside County, which also is helping him through the permitting process.
Fleming bought an 18-acre site in an enterprise zone, where he plans to build a 100,000-square-foot plant.
``The County of Riverside has been very supportive and put the project on fast-track for us,'' said Fleming, who has been at his present location in City of Industry, Calif., since 1970.
Fleming said the city manager there seemed disinterested a couple of years ago when Fleming considered expanding his business to a new site in that city. His choice of a location in Mira Loma was in the best interest of the business and his employees, Fleming said.
``The plastics industry has shifted and a lot of molders and mold makers are moving out that way,'' said Fleming, attributing the trend to lower business costs and cheaper housing.
So far this year, two other processors have moved to the inland area. AMA Plastics Inc., a custom injection molder, consolidated its operations from five buildings in Anaheim to a large facility in Corona.
Bruce Ray, president of Ray Products Inc., moved his thermoforming operation from El Monte to Ontario, also to take advantage of the lower costs and to give his employees the opportunity to buy homes in the area.
Fleming is continuing negotiations with Mira Loma and Riverside County.
``We've spent a tremendous amount of time on the plant's design and the design of the work flow,'' he said.
About 125 employees will make the move, but Fleming plans to increase employment to 150 in the first year and double the number of presses, now at 27. The firm also provides secondary services to the irrigation, electronics and consumer industries.