Step2 Corp. is building its fourth consumer products manufacturing plant in the United States at Fort Valley, Ga., about 120 miles south of Atlanta. Step2 said the 109,250-square-foot facility will serve its growing Southeast business and supply South America. The latter now is supplied from Streetsboro, Ohio, its head office operation. Company spokeswoman Dotti Foltz said Step2 plans to open the Georgia plant by April. It will employ about 180.
Foltz said the Fort Valley project will be a rotational molding plant, but she had no details of the cost, or the amount or type of equipment. The plant mainly will make Step2's home and garden products such as mailboxes and storage sheds, she said in a telephone interview.
The private company also is a major producer of playground equipment and children's toys and furniture, which lately have been difficult markets.
Step2 now runs U.S. manufacturing plants in Streetsboro, Perrysville, Ohio, and Bakersfield, Calif. Those plants have distribution functions as well. Elsewhere, Step2 has a rotomolding plant in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, and two manufacturing licensees in Asia. Mepe Co. of South Korea has exclusive rights to Japan and South Korea. Lerado Group (Holding) Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong signed up late last year for exclusive rights to China.
Fort Valley will boost Step2's total manufacturing space to more than 1 million square feet and its employee count to nearly 1,200.
The company ranked second in Plastics News' 1999 survey of rotomolders, with $100 million in sales. It sells in more than 70 countries, including throughout North America.