Where Manufacturing Matters

Regional Companies Are Honored for Impacting Manufacturing Growth

Posted by Guest Blogger on Apr 29, 2015 1:30:00 PM

Since 1990, the WIRE-Net Mission Builder Award has recognized regional companies who demonstrate, through their work, their commitment to Cleveland and WIRE-Net's efforts to strengthen manufacturing in Northeast Ohio. Previous honorees were recognized for industrial relocation, investment and expansion, job creation and training, innovation, involvement with youth and schools, support for WIRE-Net program development, and property beautification.

WIRE-Net announced today, at the WIRE-Net Annual Meeting, that Towards Employment, PPG, Hose Master, and Diamond Metals are the 2015 recipients of the WIRE-Net Mission Builder Award. These four companies accepted the award from WIRE-Net President and Executive Director, John Colm, on stage during the lunchtime program.

Read how each award winner has impacted our regional manufacturing growth.

Towards Employment

Towards Employment’s mission is to empower individuals to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through employment.

Since 1976, they have helped more than 120,000 low-income and disadvantaged adults in Greater Cleveland prepare for jobs, get jobs, keep jobs, move up the career ladder, and since 2004 taken on the challenge of placing ex-offenders in full-time, permanent jobs.

WorkAdvance is a collaborative initiative coordinated by Towards Employment. Currently in Year 5, this program offers sector-focused workforce services that meet employer needs, and moves low income individuals into quality jobs with career pathways. WIRE-Net works closely with Towards Employment by getting member feedback on the most relevant skill training, identifying job opportunities, vetting candidates, matching these candidates with manufacturers, and identifying opportunities for upskilling incumbent workers. WIRE-Net leverages their manufacturing expertise and employer relationships, and Towards Employment delivers quality direct services to job seekers and entry level incumbent workers in response to WIRE-Net member needs.

Our partnership continues to grow and evolve with new collaborative opportunities opening in WIRE-Net's Apprenticeship Accelerator and Towards Employment's Pathways 2 Work Initiative launching in 2015.

PPG Industries, Inc.

PPG's Cleveland, Ohio, automotive coatings plant is PPG's largest manufacturing and technical center for automotive coatings in North America and is situated on a 42-acre site in the city's West Park area. The plant produces a full spectrum of coatings products for automotive original equipment manufacturers, including electrocoat, clearcoat, topcoat, waterborne and solvent-based products. In 1947, PPG purchased the facility from Forbes Varnish Company, which began operations there in 1907.

PPG completed a $25 million expansion within the Cleveland operation to support an overall increase in product demand in 2014. Currently the Cleveland site employs 800 full time associates and contractors.

PPG manufactures coatings for Toyota, Ford, GM, Daimler Chrysler, Mitsubishi, etc. and the company has been manufacturing 14 million gallons of paint a year, which will continue to grow annually because of their expansion.

Through several international acquisitions the past few years, PPG is able to offer more in the way of specialty materials to global automotive customers. In 2014 the company had 6% earnings increase over 2013, and expects to see the trend continue throughout 2015.

Hose Master

From its modest beginnings in a 17,000 square foot facility, Hose Master now collectively occupies more than 400,000 square feet in facilities in Cleveland, Atlanta, Houston, and Reno, and employs more than 400 people - making it one of the largest metal hose and expansion joint manufacturers in the industry. These facilities produce large volumes of high-quality hose assemblies fabricated by ASME Section IX certified welders.

WIRE-Net member since 2013, Hose Master has a persistent challenge of finding qualified entry-level workers and skilled welders. Hose Master engaged with WIRE-Net and Towards Employment to develop a customized program under WorkAdvance to address both challenges.

For the specialized welding positions, a customized curriculum was developed with Lakeland Community College to be delivered on-site at Hose Master using their proprietary TIG welding process. Existing workers were offered the opportunity for this training that could transition them from general labor jobs ($10-11/hr) into welding positions paying up to $21/hr. WorkAdvance devised a recruitment / training process to cultivate a "backfill" strategy to recruit and train candidates from the surrounding neighborhoods. These candidates receive customized career-readiness training (including enhanced shop math). Hose Master commits to interview candidates who successfully complete WorkAdvance workshops. So far, 11 Hose Master incumbent workers are enrolled in welding training (90% on track to advance).

Diamond Metals

Since 2013 Diamond Metals has invested over $2 million for the purchase and installation of state of the art CNC machining Centers and CNC saw cutting equipment. This investment has enhanced Diamond Metals ability to offer “complete bill of materials” capabilities to tool and die shops, mold shops, metal stampers and general metalworking manufacturers.

Diamond Metals also completed renovations to the front of their building adding a semi-circular drive with a new cement parking lot, and completed a 5,000 square foot steel warehouse expansion to conclude a $550k investment in the property. This allowed for additional manufacturing and inventory space which has improved production efficiencies.

A WIRE-Net member since 2003, Diamond Metals is active in CIRI Safety and Security meetings. They now have additional capacity to service a national base of over 2,000 customers and are looking towards further expansion. The workforce is stable at 45 employees, and 6 additional sales reps were recently hired to expand service to all states east of the Mississippi.

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Topics: Manufacturing Events, Accelerate Cleveland Manufacturing, Towards Employment, Hose Master, PPG Industries, Diamond Metals Distribution, Inc., Manufacturing Growth, Mission Builder Award, Annual Meeting, Workforce

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