Rubbermaid Home Products Inc. of Fairlawn, Ohio, is consolidating production from shuttered plants in Arizona and Texas to its Greenville, Texas, plant, and retooling and modernizing the 1.2 million-square-foot injection molding site.
Local economic development officials said it is a $20 million investment, but officials from Rubbermaid said that investment figure has happened during the past two years as $20 million worth of molds and equipment have been moved into the facility from sites in Goodyear, Ariz., and Cleburne, Texas.
``The division continues to evaluate its production network to better utilize its resources,'' Rubbermaid Home Products spokeswoman Lynn Kaperak-Miller said.
Local economic development officials said the firm will add 20 employees in Greenville. Kaperak-Miller said the site employs between 600 and 700 currently.
Greenville City Council voted unanimously on Dec. 13 to approve a five-year graduated tax abatement -100 percent the first year, 90 percent the second, 80 percent the third, 70 percent the forth, and 60 percent the fifth. This will be Rubbermaid's sixth expansion in Greenville since the plant opened in 1980.
``The main focus is to try to make it more competitive and more profitable in the marketplace,'' said David Vaughn, a Sugarland, Texas-based consultant working with Rubbermaid.
Rubbermaid is the second-largest employer in Hunt County, Vaughn said in a Dec. 15 telephone interview. The firm is retooling and modernizing in Greenville to handle a change in products, which includes a move to larger items like trash cans.
The company will bring in the equipment the first part of 2006, said Robert Winningham, director of the Greenville Board of Development.
``For us, it will help solidify the Greenville operation in Rubbermaid,'' Winningham said by telephone Dec. 14. ``We as a community felt that it was important to step up to the plate and assist one of our most loyal employers in the marketplace. It's important that we all understand that manufacturing is a global business. It's no longer Greenville, Texas, vs. Durant, Okla. It's Greenville vs. Shanghai.''
Officials will take out $3 million in existing equipment at the Greenville site and double inventory to roughly $14 million.
Winningham said local officials have been aggressive in making sure Rubbermaid gets the job training and other incentives to maintain the Greenville operation.
In addition to Greenville, Rubbermaid Home Products operates plants in Jackson, Mo.; Canton, Ohio; Mississauga, Ontario; Centerville, Iowa; and Winfield, Kan. The company in August announced a $10.2 million expansion at the Iowa site, as it moved machines from Winfield into that operation.
At the Greenville plant, engineers recently developed a patent-pending process to injection mold cedar and resin for an upgrade on Rubbermaid's core product line of Roughneck storage totes.
That composite combo is shot through the same Roughneck molds to make totes that have a light cedar scent and natural resistance to insects.