Jan 19, 2014

PFI chooses Greenville because of size and location

BY RYAN BERRY
MANAGING EDITOR
GREENVILLE – Thanks to the Darke County Economic office and Partnering for Progress, Darke County has witnessed tremendous success over the past few years with job retention, expansion and creation. The newest success story is set to begin production in February in the former Cadillac Gage building on Jaysville-St. John Road near the Greenville Industrial Park.

Precision Fab, Inc. (PFI), a Canadian company, has announced it will soon be fabricating metal packaging (automotive parts racks) for the automotive industry at the Greenville plant. These racks are used to ship car parts from the tier 1 suppliers to the assembly lines. Albert Wiebe, co-owner and CEO, said, “We have built racks for Toyota, Honda, BMW, and the Big 3.”

While the company could have gone anywhere they chose Greenville because of its size and location. Wiebe said, “We are from a small town in Canada, and Greenville appealed to us because of its ‘small town’ atmosphere with ‘big city’ conveniences. We also chose Greenville due to its central proximity to East Liberty and Cincinnati; Lexington and Louisville, KY; and Evansville, IN, where our current customers are located.” PFI is celebrating its 11th anniversary this month and has two plants in Canada. This is their first plant in the United States.

PFI has already hired locally adding an engineer and office manager to the staff. The two new hires will help PFI get in contact with local vendors/suppliers. Some of their executives will soon relocate to help start-up the plant, but there will be plenty of opportunities for local persons to move up in the company. Wiebe pointed out he started off in the quality department seven years ago and worked his way up to CEO. “We definitely do believe in promoting from within. Most of our supervisors and managers in Canada started at entry level positions. We plan to continue the same practice in Greenville.”

The company will start with five to 10 employees, but has plans to expand to as many as 50 over the next couple of years. Wiebe praised Darke County Economic Development Director Marc Saluk and his team for their help in securing the location for the new plant. He was also excited by the proactive approach the region was taking by offering a workforce development course for adults in welding. Welders will be needed when PFI begins its manufacturing process. The class was the result of partnership with Greenville City Schools, Partnering for Progress, the Darke County Economic Development office, and other manufacturers in the area. Wiebe said, “We are looking forward to working with that program in the future.”

While PFI will continue to manufacture its automotive parts racks, they do hope to diversify in the future. “We realize that it is never a good business practice to ‘keep all your eggs in one basket.’ Since most of our ‘eggs’ are currently in the ‘automotive industry basket,’ we plan to diversify our operation by introducing a new product line in the steel building market. We are also looking into producing steel products for the agricultural market.”

PFI expects to be running full capacity by the end of the year.

PFI chooses Greenville because of size and location

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