A total of 50 employees who work at Fypon, an Archbold industry, are being given an opportunity to relocate to a new facility at Howe, Ind.
Kathy Ziprik, public relations representative of Fypon, said there are 50 production workers and 20 employees who perform “offi ce functions” at Archbold.
Office workers will be relocated to either Maumee or Butler, Ind.
The company made the announcement Wednesday, Oct. 6. Relocation of the Archbold operation will begin in the first quarter of 2011 and conclude in October 2011.
Fortune Brands, which owns Fypon and Therma- Tru, a door manufacturer based in Maumee, announced in September 2009 the two firms would be merged.
Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor, said Therma-Tru gave the Village of Archbold “no chance to give them anything.
“I see they got incentives in Indiana. We’ve got incentives we could have offered, but the corporation had made the decision, and we didn’t get a chance.
“It’s very disappointing.”
Keith Gillenwater, executive director of the LaGrange (Ind.) County Economic Development Corporation, confirmed that the State of Indiana was providing Therma Tru with up to $300,000 in economic incentives to move to Howe.
Gillenwater said the economic development corporation was seeking $1 million in county tax abatements on equipment for the company.
“It depends on what equipment qualifies under the state statute” for abatement, he said.
Gillenwater also said the economic development corporation will give Therma- Tru a cash grant to come to the county.
The amount of the grant has not been determined.
“It’s a little something extra, a nice gesture towards the company,” he said.
Gillenwater said he wasn’t aware Therma-Tru was looking at the 347,000- square-foot warehouse and distribution center in Howe until recently.
“We first became aware of it not terribly long ago. It’s only been about the last two months that we’ve had good conversations with them.”
Wyse said Therma-Tru asked another Archbold company about leasing space. The company didn’t have space available, but Wyse said company officials advised Therma-Tru representatives to contact Fulton County or the Village of Archbold.
Therma-Tru did neither, Wyse said.
In a press release, Therma Tru officials said the relocations “represent the next step to further integrate the two operations for greater cost efficiencies in light of a persistently-challenging residential housing market.”
“Our goal is to make this consolidation as seamless as possible for our associates and customers,” David Randich, Therma-Tru president said.
Workers in Archbold will be offered jobs at Howe. Those who wish to live in Archbold and drive to Howe face a 70-mile one-way commute. Wyse said he is aware of workers who are taking that option.
Those who choose not to take jobs in Howe will be offered “fair and equitable assistance… to help the associates through the transition,” company officials said.
Therma-Tru also is consolidating a facility in Angola, Ind.
In a press release, Therma Tru officials said Howe was selected “after a comprehensive search of Ohio and Indiana to identify a facility that had enough square footage, access to interstate (highways) and rail lines, as well as sufficient loading docks.”
Gillenwater said the building was built in 1989 as a distribution center for Child’s World, a now-defunct retailer. It was later used by Frank’s Nursery & Crafts, which is also defunct.
Since then, a couple of other tenants have used portions of the building.
The building, which Therma Tru will lease, has 26 truck docks, plus a rail spur that feeds into the building. Michigan Southern, a shortline railroad, serves the building. The short line connects with Norfolk Southern.
“It’s a nice building,” Gillenwater said.
Therma-Tru will use the Howe facility as a warehouse for Therma-Tru and Fypon products, plus do light fabrication of urethane millwork. Ziprik said production of the urethane products was moved to Fypon’s Yantai, China, location.