West Chester manufacturer hiring, expanding for fourth time

A Butler County-based manufacturer is ramping up hiring efforts ahead of the completion of its fourth expansion in 23 years.

Republic Wire, which started in 1982 in Fairfield and moved to West Chester Twp. in 1994, is a family-owned and operated manufacturer of copper building wire, according to Heather Yelton, the company’s human resources director.

“We make 11 different product groups that vary in size and color for the commercial, residential and industrial markets,” Yelton said. “We sell to electrical wholesale distributors for schools, stadiums, Walt Disney World, malls, office complexes and so much more.”

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Republic Wire is hiring 10 to 15 full time positions during an expansion that is adding 30,000-square-feet to its facility at 5525 Union Center Drive, bringing its total square footage to 400,000 square feet.

“The expansion should be complete by mid to late January,” Yelton said. “This is our fourth expansion since we relocated to West Chester. When we moved here 23 years ago, we started with 40,000 square feet. We had 17 employees at the time and we currently have 125.”

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We asked Yelton about advancement opportunities, roadblocks to hiring and the biggest challenge it faces. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: Some job seekers are concerned about the limits of advancement within a company. To what degree can your employees advance from entry-level roles to become department managers and team leaders?

A: “Our corporate culture encourages internal moves and we post most jobs before hiring from outside of the company. Several of our department managers began as machine operators or in our shipping/receiving departments and have worked their way up to shift supervisors, department managers and even managers on our executive team. We do not look for people to fulfill our job needs but rather we look for people who want a career. We want the person who is hired to move up within the company and stay throughout their career.”

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Q: What’s the most prevalent roadblock you encounter when it comes to hiring and what can jobseekers do to remedy that situation?

A: “The current roadblocks we are dealing with is the lack of desire to obtain a career. Many out there do not want to grow with a company, they want to come in as managers or make top dollar without working for it. At our company, we believe in hiring someone who has the desire to learn and grow with the company. Someone who has the patience to work their way up and who values what we can offer as much as what they bring to the table. We offer so much more than a job. An individual has to be willing to look at the entire package offered, not just the paycheck. My advice to jobseekers is to have an open mind when interviewing to see what all our company has to offer beyond the paycheck. Look for jobs that match your skill set and dress appropriately for an interview. Don’t forget that you are selling the skillset you can bring to help us grow.”

Q. What’s the biggest challenge facing Republic Wire and others in the industry?

A: “Skilled labor has been a problem since our nearest competitor is 300 miles away. Therefore, our training period lasts three to six months. We feel our product groups and our quality and service is better than most of our competition.”

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