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Small plant announced for St. Thomas

July 21, 1999|By DON AINES

ST. THOMAS, Pa. - A company that supplies counterweight castings to two of the area's biggest manufacturers announced Wedesday it will open a plant in St. Thomas Township later this year.

Kurdziel Industries President and Chief Executive Officer Don Huizenga said a subsidiary of that corporation, Kurdziel Industrial Coatings Co., will initially employ about 10 people at the plant at 9523 Lincoln Way West. He said the 20,000-square-foot building is an empty industrial facility.

The plant will provide finished counterweight castings for the boom lift, truck lift and construction equipment industries. Huizenga said the plant will be located there because of its "close proximity to two of our good customers, Grove and JLG."

Grove Worldwide in Shady Grove, Pa., manufactures mobile cranes. JLG Industries in McConnellsburg, Pa., builds aerial lift platforms. Huizenga said the counterweights his company provides are used to offset the weight on the front end of cranes and lifts to prevent them from tipping over when in use.

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Kurdziel Industrial Coatings, which employs 135 people at its plant in Wauseon, Ohio, provides primer-coated counterweight castings to manufacturers. The plant in St. Thomas will supply finish-painted counterweights, according to Huizenga.

Previously it was up to the customers to apply the automotive finish on the counterweights, he said.

Huizenga said the capital investment in the plant will be about $1 million. He predicts the the facility will open in late fall.

Starting pay for the jobs hasn't been determined, but, "but we'll be competitive with wages in the area," Huizenga said.

"If we assimilate Grove's work into that plant, it could double," Huizenga said regarding the number of employees at the St. Thomas plant.

Elzy Golden has been named manager of finish paint operations at the St. Thomas plant, according to a company press release.

Kurdziel Industries is the largest producer of counterweight castings in the United States, the release said.

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