Despite harsh times for the automotive industry over the past few years, manufacturers have begun to increase production, leading to success for one Tiffin company.
Toledo Molding and Die Inc. makes plastic components for GM, Chrysler, Ford, Valleo, Automotive Components Holdings Corp. and Behr at the Tiffin facility. Three of those companies GM, Chrysler and Ford have grown in the past year, which has translated to growth for TMD.
"Things have bounced back pretty strong for 2010 for those automotive manufacturers and, ultimately, our customers," said Jay Gilliland, plant manager. "So when you look at their success, that has led to some opportunities for us to grow."
In the past year, TMD helped create parts for the launches of three vehicle lines Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee and Chevy Volt, the company's new electric car.
"We kind of went through three different phases of new launches in the plant this year, which is probably the most launches we've taken here in any given year," Gilliland said. "It's been a challenge not only to launch the new programs, but to maintain and sustain our current businesses."
To meet the demand, TMD has hired an additional 95 employees in the past year.
But there is room to grow, and the company says it hopes to increase the hourly workforce by 10 to 15 more employees, bringing the workforce to about 300.
Gilliland said TMD was able to add employees with the help of the Department of Job and Family services.
Carol Owen, administrator of Workforce Development, worked with Human Resources Manager Carl Pastorella and other TMD administrators to introduce Project Hire, a program funded through the Ohio Department of Development to provide subsidized on-the-job training.
Owen said 19 employees qualified for the program, and training happened at the plant for a fraction of the cost.
Rich Focht, president and chief executive officer of Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation, said he was excited to hear TMD was growing in the community.
In 2003, Toledo Molding and Die opened its Tiffin facility as a merger of plants in Sycamore and Carey. SIEDC was one of the organizations instrumental in the move, but he said the community has since taken the lead in making the company successful.
"I'm excited we recruited them it's been a real success for us but it's about community effort and support we're able to offer our businesses," he said.
Pastorella said one incentive to open the plant in Tiffin was the workforce, of which the company is proud.
"We have a great, hardworking workforce. The people here care about their work and the quality of their work," Pastorella said. "They really are the backbone of our business - they keep our customers happy. ... That's one of the reasons why the company looked to put the facility here was because of the quality of the workforce in the area, and we've really had some success in bringing folks in here."
"We have an excellent quality record," Gilliland said. "Our folks do an excellent job of helping us manufacture world-class quality products here. That goes back to why we're having a such success right now - you don't have that level of success and be able to build upon your business in the automotive sector unless you have a great level of performance and quality. We rely on them to maintain, and sustain and improve that performance."
In addition, they have worked closely with local organizations such as SIEDC and the Department of Job and Family Services.
"All of those folks have been very supportive of our growth," Pastorella said.
TMD said it is working to bring in more new lines and build on the success of the past year, while continuing to grow as a community asset.
"I think it's really been a win-win for TMD as well as Tiffin in terms of the success we've been able to achieve in the eight or so years we've been here," Gilliland said.