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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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        A representative of a Perrysburg machining company offered testimony last week to a Congressional subcommittee that is looking at the state of the country’s manufacturing sector.

        Nikki Moyers, vice president of operations at Jerl Machine, Inc., testified before the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection.

        Moyers told the panel her company was forced to scale back production during the Great Recession and shut down its third shift and lay off employees as core clients reduced orders.

        Today, the company employs 67 workers and this year Jerl is on track to record its highest sales growth.

        Moyers said the much of the production resurgence could be attributed to the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

        She credited the vision of Robert Brossia, who formed the company 45 years ago, for its success in transitioning from a basic machine shop to a business that specializes in precision metal working and tool making, Computer Numerical Control turning and milling, bending and welding.

        Jerl’s biggest challenge going forward is the lack of skilled workers, Moyers said.

        “With the huge influx of purchase orders and new customers, Jerl is turning down work due to lack of skilled labor. Machines sit idle on the shop floor with no one qualified to run them,” she said. “Our third shift, though efficient, is a skeleton crew that could be expanded to triple its size. Ideally, Jerl could add 30 to 50 percent more employees. Our shop is running at approximately 60 percent of its full capacity.”

        Moyers encouraged the subcommittee to push for funding to re-establish trade programs in high schools or add machinery to update existing programs.

        Northwest Ohio is fortunate to have trade and technical schools like Penta Career Center but “it’s not enough,” she said.

        Moyers was invited to testify by Rep. Bob Latta, who chairs the subcommittee. He toured the Jerl plant in August.

        Others who offered testimony were Eric Anderberg, vice president, Dial Machine, Inc., Rockford, Ill., Edward Paradowski, president, Apache Stainless Equipment Corp., Beaver Dam, Wisc., and Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation.                             

 

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