Ohio Coatings wins excellence award

Times Leader, May 20, 2002

THE OHIO Coatings Co., built in 1995 in Yorkville, Belmont County, received the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance’s (EODA), Excellence in Manufacturing Award at the EODA’s annual meeting on April 30 at the Carlise Village Inn, Walnut Creek, Oh.

Accepting the award presented by U.S. Congressman Bob Ney, R-St. Clairsville, were Kris McGee, OCC president and chief executive officer, and Jim Tennant, chief financial officer for the OCC.

Donald R. Myers, EODA president, nominated OCC for the award. He provided an overview of the company and said that OCC ws the first electrolytic tin-plating plant build in America in the last 30 years.

McGee and Tennant thanked the EODA for the prestigious award, and noted that with the continued support of agencies such as the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association, the Belmont County Department of Development,and the EODA, they will continue to grow both as a quality supplier to the tin industry as well as be a solid employer in the Eastern Ohio region.

According to Myers, four states were in competition for the plant, but Belmont County and Ohio were successful in landing the state-of-the-art industrial plant. It was constructed in 1995, in Yorkville in Belmont County.

The OCC was developed as a joint venture between Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp., and Dongyang Tinplate. The development was recorded as the largest manufacturing plant built in Ohio in 1995, and resulted in an $80 million investment in the local area.

Myers said EOCC has a quality management team and workforce which enables them to be highly successful. “The company has survived through the most difficult economic times and has grown to be a first class manufacturing business,” he said. “The company takes great pride in its accomplishment and in meeting all of its covenants.

“The EODA is proud and fortunate to have such a quality company within its region,” Myers said. “The company is currently enjoying substantial growth from the initial year of producing 77,000 tons to the 276,000 tons produced in both 2002 and 2003.”

The OCC provides tin plated coils to 30 percent of the sanitary food can industry; 60 percent of the general line segment, i.e. paint cans, coffee cans and aerosols; five percent to the oil filter segment and five percent to specialty products such as cookware and battery jackets.

According to figures from EODA, the Ohio Coatings venture has created 78 full-time positions with an annual $6.5 million payroll including fringe benefits. It provides high-end industrial employment and utilizes local mechanical and electrical companies for support services.

The OCC has indirectly saved over 300 jobs at Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel’s Yorkville and Steubenville plants due to their processing and supplying 75 percent of OCC’s substrate needs.

Ney delivered the keynote address at the annual meeting, and reported the economy is recovering from its recession, but “we have a long way to go.” He said the biggest challenge to U.S. business is China.

“I realize we can’t put a wall, around our country, and something needs to be done to make competition more fair.”

He said the Chinese people have no choice in deciding how to earn their living. “The government tells them what work to do, pays them low wages and subsidizes businesses. We can’t compete with wages of 15 cents an hour,” Ney said. “I hope conditions improve for the people, not only for humanitarian reasons, but to level the playing field. All we are asking for is reciprocity in trade.”

Ney said that service jobs are meaningful and important, “but we need to keep manufacturing jobs in the United states to keep our country strong.”

Also earning excellence awards at the meeting were Resource Systems of New Concord, and The Wilds of Muskingum County, for tourism.

The EODA represents 16 counties in Eastern Ohio and serves a population of over 800,000 people with a mission to promote economic growth and to improve the quality of life in the region.

Reproduced with permission from Times Leader

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