Babies are big business at GS Industries of Bassett Inc., an injection molder that's adding 35 jobs to handle increased business in infant and toddler toys and accessories.
Bassett, Va.-based GS needs to add the positions — including 21 machine operators — after landing a large contract from Kids II Inc, GS officials said in a Sept. 27 news release. Kids II is a global retailer based in Alpharetta, Ga., that makes infant and toddler products under its own Bright Starts brand, as well as under licenses from the Baby Einstein and Disney baby brands.
Products molded by GS for Kids II will include injection molded parts for Baby Einstein's Around the World Discovery Center, which is an activity saucer for babies. Other work includes parts for high chairs, potty seats, booster seats and other items. The first parts made by GS for Kids II shipped worldwide in August, officials said in the release.
GS CEO Hank McHale said that work gained by his firm — which operates a 148,000-square-foot plant — is part of a global trend.
“With shipping costs rising due to fuel prices, manufacturers are realizing that parts and products can be made more efficiently here at home rather than importing them,” he said in the release.
McHale added that Henry County's low labor costs and access to convenient transportation played a role in GS landing the Kids II business.
“People in this area have lost a lot of employment,” he said. “Anything that comes in, even if it's 35 jobs at this time, is a pretty big deal around here. It's a little breath of fresh air and it brings some hope.”
GS is owned by holding firm Tahoma Enterprises Inc. of Wooster, Ohio. Tahoma also owns CP Technologies, an injection molding and tooling firm in Blacklick, Ohio, and North Canton Plastics Co., an injection molder in North Canton, Ohio.