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PK to build new small parts plant
Latest expansion to employ 70
By John Kelly - The Shelbyville News
PK U.S.A. Inc. is spinning off a new metal stamping company and is planning another $2.5 million factory in Shelbyville to house it.
Company officials and city leaders gathered this morning under a tent on McCall Drive to break ground for the 50,400-square-foot factory - before PK U.S.A. could even create a name for it.
With a chilly wind blowing, Mayor Betsy R. Stephen thanked PK for its efforts.
"Thank you for coming and enjoying the community and taking part in the rest of the community," Stephen said.
Emily Bradley, project manager for the state Department of Commerce, presented a state flag to PK officials, thanking them for their efforts.
The new company will stamp small metal parts for automobiles, mostly for sports utility vehicles manufactured by car companies such as Honda and Mitsubishi.
PK U.S.A. Senior Vice President and Secretary Kenji Nagai said the new stamping plant will be completed by June and in operation by July. Within two years, it will employ about 70 people, Nagai said. PK presently employs 480 workers.
The groundbreaking marks PK U.S.A.'s fifth major expansion in Shelbyville since coming here in 1989, said William Kent, general manager of human resources and administrative affairs for PK U.S.A.. The fourth expansion, announced in September 1995, is expected to be completed in March. That expansion, which added about 68,000 square feet to the company's current building on Northridge Drive, is expected to add 39 jobs.
Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Michael Dellinger said PK U.S.A.'s decision to put the metal stamping plant in Shelbyville is a sign of the firm's commitment to its home base. He said the county's low unemployment rate and shortage of skilled labor is making it difficult for high-tech manufacturers to find sound workers.
PK U.S.A. considered sites in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana, but felt a loyalty to Shelbyville, Nagai said. "They could very easily have chosen to go someplace else and said rightly that it was because of the labor problem we have," Dellinger said. "Instead, they have chosen to stick with us and help us discover ways to address those labor problems."
Dellinger said PK U.S.A. and a handful of the city's elite companies are working to develop training methods for these workers who want to work, but don't have the needed skills.
The firms plan to help the workers get the training they need to meet the minimum standards of local industry.
The firms also plan recruiting efforts in surrounding counties to get workers from those areas not only to come and take jobs here, but to move here as well.
"They are working with us to address the issues we have in the Shelby County work force, and they are exactly the kind of company we want and need in Shelby County," Dellinger said.
Dellinger said a further sign of their interest in Shelbyville is that the company has hired Shelbyville's Runnebohm Construction Inc. to build the factory this winter.
The plant will be built on 10 acres at 1775 McCall Dr. The land is owned by ENBI Inc. The PK U.S.A. plant will be built between the ENBI building and Interstate 74.
The 50,400-square-foot plant will house a 300-ton process press, a 200-ton coil feed press and nine 200-ton small metal stamp presses.
The company is buying five of the small stamp presses new. The rest of the equipment will be moved from the existing PK U.S.A. plant.
Nagai said the company decided to expand for two reasons - the companies that PK makes sports utility vehicle parts for are making complete model redesigns for 1998 and 1999 and because the volume of small metal stamping at the PK plant was increasing very rapidly.
"As the total volume increased, there was a question of whether we could continue to do it in-house," Nagai said. "We decided that the volume was enough to establish a new company and concentrate on the production of small parts."
Nagai said the new plant will not only take over the small metal stamping jobs that are being done now at the PK plant, but will also handle new small metal stamping orders for PK and for other firms in the region.
"It is primarily to support PK U.S.A. and its customers," Kent said.
Copyright 2018 PKUSA Inc.