American Plastics LLC's investment into its injection molding operation to produce Craftsman brand shelving in Tiffin, Ohio, has reached $7 million and it's not the only thing going up.
Wages are, too.
The St. Louis, Mo.-based company says pay for new hires is increasing to $14.50 an hour with a $1-an-hour incentive bonus for attendance, which brings the starting wage to $15.50 an hour.
Operators of the 68,000-square-foot plant need to fill first and third shift positions. Employees work 12-hour shifts for 15 days a month. An outdoor hiring fair is scheduled for Aug. 27.
The new hires will join about 140 other employees at a facility most recently updated with five new presses, tooling and building improvements to increase efficiency and capacity.
The latest investment is to support current customers, and it brings the company's total to $7 million at the facility, according to an Aug. 20 news release from the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership.
The Tiffin plant is the sole manufacturer of the Craftsman shelving sold at more than 1,500 Lowe's stores in North America. The plant also produces Commander and Blue Hawk brand shelving for Lowe's as well as plastic shelves, totes and bins for the Husky brand at Home Depot and Tough Box brand for Sam's Club.
The facility was operated by the former Katy Industries Inc., which emerged from bankruptcy in 2018 as American Plastics and is now owned by the private equity firms Highview Capital LLC and Victory Part Capital Advisers LLC.
The plant had only 27 employees before the new owners invested $1 million into equipment and facility upgrades in 2018 followed by $3.5 million in new presses in 2019, according to a March 10 news release from the Tiffin-Seneca group, which recognized American Plastics with its Economic Development Award for growing with the city of Tiffin.
That puts the latest investment at about $2.5 million.
Joe Roth, the Tiffin plant manager, said in the Aug. 20 news release that American Plastics is committed to its team and facility.
"Our continued growth is only possible due to the dedication of our team and the support of our customers. It's always something new with American Plastics, and we're glad to be a part of the Tiffin growth."
American Plastics has 14 other facilities in the U.S. for designing and manufacturing products for household and garage storage and commercial cleaning.