A rejuvenated family-run injection molding firm has all of its employees back under one roof after eight months of angst caused by a twister that destroyed its building.
``We're all excited to be back home as one,'' said Dana Buffington, secretary-treasurer of Accu-Mold and Tool Co. Inc., in a July 30 telephone interview.
The Halifax, Pa., company had been operating from three different sites following the disaster, but used the weekend of July 28-29 to complete the move of its tooling and production departments into a newly constructed 12,000-square-foot facility.
``All of the employees are glad to be back. A rigging company moved the machinery, but the employees are all helping by cleaning and unpacking,'' she said.
Buffington said 45 employees have stayed on with the company, which is looking to hire a few more.
Accu-Mold has 20 injection molding machines. It also does its own design and mold making. Buffington said the company has evolved to where about 95 percent of its work is for the medical industry. Its new facility is climate-controlled.
The company was started in 1972 by Buffington's father, the late Jack Strohecker, and her mother, Mary Sue Couche, the current chief executive officer. Family is still a big part of the company, with Dana's husband, Keith, the president; her brother Jack Strohecker II a vice president and another half-dozen relatives or so working at the facility. As a matter of fact, she said, the company has three generations working there.
However, the company had quite a scare back on Dec. 1.
``It all happened in 60 seconds, and they claim that if it hadn't hit the building, it would hit the residential section behind us,'' Dana Buffington said.
She said that the company was running its second shift, with 25 workers, when a tornado knocked down the front of the building and ``actually peeled the roof back, like an old sardine can.''
Luckily and amazingly, no one was hurt, but the extensive damage made the structure unsafe. It was covered by insurance.
Buffington said friends and customers stepped forward to help. A customer in Millersburg, about 12 miles away, gave them some space. They found another building in Halifax, and they moved office functions back into the home of the firm's CEO, where it was in its earliest days.
She said rebuilding in the same spot was not an easy decision, but with so many family members working there, it was the right thing to do.
The new building is about 3,000 square feet larger and more solid than the previous facility, she added.