McCONNELSVILLE-Gov. John Kasich visited Southeast Ohio Thursday to officially announce the expansion of an international company with a base in McConnelsville.
Miba Sinter USA, LLC officially opened its new production facilities with an expansion of more than 42,000 square feet, and announced that the expansion will bring in more than 100 new high-tech manufacturing jobs in the next few years.
Kasich, alongside JobsOhio, a private, nonprofit organization that promotes job creation and economic development for Ohio, granted the company approximately $50,000 in grants to train new workers in the hopes of strengthening the job market in Ohio.
JACKIE RUNION The Marietta Times
Ohio Gov. John Kasich talks with Austrian ambassador Hanz Peter Manz during the press conference for Austria-based Miba Sinter USA’s official expansion announcement Thursday.
"This is a hopeful sign for all of Ohio and all of Appalachia," Kasich said. "We're your partners, and if you're successful, the people of Morgan County will be successful, and that's what we're here for."
The company is a subsidiary of the Austrian Miba group, which produces high quality precision auto parts, with everything from gears to steering components.
A total of 20 Miba sites exist worldwide, and the Miba Sinter USA site is the most modernized facility in the world as well as the largest.
Miba Sinter USA
JobsOhio workplace expansion grant: $2 million.
JobsOhio workplace training grant: $50,000
Employment: About 120 employees.
Size: 45,951 square feet.
With 2014 expansion:
Employment: About 220 employees.
Size: 88,414 square feet.
Source: Miba Group.
Between both it and the Miba Bearings site located next door, which specializes in engine bearings applications, McConnelsville boasts the highest Miba employment in the U.S. with 425 of 600 total employees.
"We were successfully able to satisfy our customers with our quality, and that is what gave us the ability to expand," said CEO Peter Mitterbauer, Jr. "What I envision for this company is dynamic evolution, and that's what we need to remain competitive in this market."
Kasich said one of the biggest factors of the expansion of the facility, located along Ohio 60, is the need to train workers and strengthen the technical education of young people, an issue Kasich has been pushing for across Ohio.
"We have this post-modern facility right here in McConnelsville, and this expansion means they will be here for a long time," he said. "Now, we have to make our young people realize how important it is to work at a place like this."
Kasich went on to urge the importance of two-and-four-year technical schools, touting the benefits of young people getting jobs at growing companies like Miba.
"If you get into a place like this, you're in for a successful career with high pay," he said.
With the grant, Miba will be able to hire and train skilled workers to work in its expanded production facilities, along with workplace expansion loans from JobsOhio that total about $2 million.
"We already added 120 jobs, and we'll plan to add 100 more in the next few years," said Miba site manager Steve Krise. "We've already gotten so much support, and we'll continue to need it as we double in size."
Krise said just four years ago when the McConnelsville site opened, the workforce was small enough to fit in a small group picture, and now, the company's team is larger and stronger than ever.
"I've worked with a lot of good people, but I've never worked with a group as talented, motivated and as good as this team," he said.
The recently completed expansion is phase II of the company's long-term growth plans after the company recently consolidated its North American back office support staff to a new service center.
The Sinter site in McConnelsville will now boast a total of 88,414 square feet.
Miba was founded in 1927 by Franz Mitterbauer in Austria and came to the U.S. in 1989, where it is now in its third generation. The company boasted more than $800 million in revenue last year.