Automotive industry supplier Viking Industries LLC is taking advantage of state incentives to train workers in lean manufacturing at two plants in upstate New York.
The Solon, Ohio-based company received a $712,805 state grant, according to New York Department of Labor Commissioner Linda Angello. The money will be used to retain workers at plants in Lockport and Albion, N.Y.
On April 30, Business First in Buffalo reported that Viking had moved some business from its Medina, Ohio, plant in March to the New York operations. The Medina plant manager would not comment. Viking Industries officials did not return calls.
Par Industries LLC, a unit of Viking Industries, bought the two New York plants for $3.7 million from Avon Rubber plc of London in October 2001.
According to a Nov. 9 news release from New York Gov. George S. Pataki, the company negotiated with state officials and United Auto Workers Local 868 to retain 236 workers at the two New York plants.
The Lockport facility, renamed Par Industries LLC, injection molds automotive heating and cooling components. It also makes plastic hose connectors, sonic-welded bearing assemblies for steering columns, clip-wiring assemblies, molded battery covers and anti-lock brake shield covers.
Par will receive $369,010 to train 137 employees, according to the Labor Department.
The Albion facility was renamed Viking Polymer Solutions LLC and will gain $343,795 to train 78 employees. It also produces automotive parts, making radiator gaskets, motor-cooling tubes, grommets, trim parts and sealing assemblies.
Back in November, Pataki touted the purchase for retaining the work forces of the two plants. The release also pointed out that the companies potentially could add 200 new jobs during the next three years.
Viking Industries was founded in 1999. It is a privately owned supplier of rubber, plastic and metal components and assemblies to the automotive industry. Its customers include Delphi Thermal Systems, Chrysler, Ford and Honda.
Par's Medina plant does custom injection molding and rubber stamping.