Fuyao looking for 400 new workers: Here’s what we know

Visiting lawmakers call manufacturing the ‘bedrock’ of the local economy

Fuyao Glass America wants to add 400 employees to its 2,300 worforce by the end of 2018, both for its aftermarket glass production and the company’s planned warehouse.

“We’re actually looking not only for the production people, we’re looking for engineers,” said Jeff Liu, president of Fuyao.

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Part of the need for workers is being driven by a shift of work from Fuyao’s plants in China to Moraine, Liu said. Today — after four years and nearly a billion dollars of investment — Fuyao’s Moraine plant is serving all domestic automotive original equipment manufacturers, he said.

Fuyao isn’t the only Dayton-area manufacturer looking for the right workers. U.S. Reps. Mike Turner, R-Dayton and John Shimkus, R-Ill. visited Fuyao Monday to highlight manufacturing growth locally and beyond.

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Turner called manufacturing “the bedrock of the economy here locally.”

In just four regional counties — Montgomery, Butler, Clark and Warren — there are nearly 72,000 workers in manufacturing, according to a report released last week by the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association.

Fuyao was built from the vacant plant left behind when General Motors closed its Moraine assembly operation in late 2008.

“There was nothing here, and now it’s amazing to see the skilled workforce,” said Shimkus, who is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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With the congressmen were Steve Staub, co-owner of Staub Manufacturing Solutions, and Tim O’Meara, president of Dayton’s GEMCITY Engineering. Both of them said they have opportunities for the right job candidates. The lawmakers also visited those companies Monday.

“All three of these businesses (Fuyao, Staub and GEMCITY) that are behind me are looking for people who want to work,” Shimkus said.

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The three companies also demonstrate the breadth of manufacturing in the Dayton region, Turner said.

“There is so much opportunity in the manufacturing industry not only in Dayton, Ohio but nationally,” Staub said at a press conference at Fuyao’s West Stroop Road plant. He estimated that the Dayton area has 4,000 to 5,000 manufacturing openings.

The nation added 37,000 manufacturing jobs in July, and over the past year, the sector has added nearly 330,000 jobs, most of them — 262,000 — in the durable goods sector (which includes autos and auto components, such as glass).

That trend in manufacturing job growth — 327,000 new jobs in 12 months — represents the fastest 12-month growth stretch in 23 years.

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