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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Norplas Industries, Inc., plans to expand its facility on Caple Blvd. and add 300 jobs over a three year period.

The company, which manufactures injection molded and painted automotive exterior parts, will expand its existing 400,000 square-foot-building by an additional 30,000-square-feet to increase injection molding capacity.

The $6.5 million project, which is also expected to help retain the company’s 496 positions, consists of $2.5 million in building investment and $4 million in machinery and equipment.

Starting pay for the new jobs will be $13.30 per hour, then reach a maximum of $17.50 after three years, said Northwood City Administrator Pat Bacon.

The company will receive tax credits from the state and the city as part of the expansion project.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority awarded the company a 55 percent Job Creation Tax Credit for a seven-year term. The value of the tax credit is estimated at $498,147 over the term, and the company would be required to maintain operations at the project site for 10 years.

Bacon said the city agreed to give the company tax abatement on the increased value of the addition. Also, the city’s Job Creation Retention Grant program will rebate half of the payroll tax of the new employees for up to five years.

“One of the conditions of the state giving an incentive to Norplas is that an incentive is offered at the local level,” said Bacon.

In the first and second quarters of next year, Norplas plans to construct the addition, said Bacon.

In the third quarter, the company will install a 35 hundred ton injection molding machine, she added.

Bacon said the company was considering manufacturing some products unrelated to the auto industry. In a meeting with one of Norplas’s officials, there was discussion of a possible contract with Whirlpool, she said.

Tom Blaha, executive director of the Wood County Economic Development Commission, said the commission, which conducts retention and expansion calls on local companies on a routine basis, visited Norplas in July.

“Their chief financial officer had shared with us that, in addition to trying to diversify from being an automotive supplier, they were looking at getting into appliances as well,” said Blaha.

Blaha called Norplas “good corporate citizens.”

“They treat their employees well. There’s hardly been any turnover there. They’ve always exceeded whatever job commitments they’ve made,” said Blaha.

Bacon agreed.

“It’s a good company. It’s all about the employees there,” she said.

Wood County Commissioner Tim Brown said Ohio was competing against several other states in an effort to keep the expansion in Ohio.

“The Wood County Economic Development Commission has been instrumental in brokering the support of both Northwood and the state in keeping this expansion in Wood County,” said Brown. “This is another example of our local economic development team working with local officials, and our state to ensure job growth in Wood County. More jobs on the horizon are exactly the news we need to hear and I’m very pleased for the City of Northwood.”

The news couldn’t have come at a better time for Northwood, which has laid-off several employees and made deep budget cuts in the last two years due to the recession.

“This is huge, especially now,” said Northwood Councilman Dave Gallaher.

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