BELOIT — The Toledo Molding & Die, Inc. (TMD) facility in Beloit could begin operations around late February or March, according to a company official.
Steve Ciucci, President/CEO, wrote via email that TMD will have employees located and working on site by that time. The 105,000-square-foot industrial building is being put up by Hendricks Commercial Properties near the intersection of Willowbrook and Stateline Road. The two parties have executed a lease for the property.
Rob Gerbitz, CEO of Hendricks Commercial Properties, had not returned phone calls for comment by press time.
TMD is headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. The company has nine other manufacturing plants in North America. Founded in 1955 as a model and pattern shop, TMD has grown to be a global supplier of interior and air/fluid management systems.
TMD is a supplier for the Fiat Chrysler plant in Belvidere, Illinois. Cucci said when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) decided to move production of the new Cherokee from Toledo to Belvidere, TMD agreed to move production as well.
“Given the size of the parts TMD produces for the Cherokee, it is cost prohibitive to ship them from Ohio,” Ciucci wrote.
He said consumer demand will dictate the number of employment at TMD’s facility, but they’re planning on 100 to 125 jobs at the plant. Ciucci said TMD is installing two tonnage injection molding machines at the property this month.
Ciucci wrote the facility will begin producing initial samples for testing and validation around late February or March and will begin producing initial samples for Fiat Chrysler vehicles early in the second quarter of 2017.
The Belvidere plant will start production of the new Jeep Cherokee in May 2017.
“TMD’s production schedule will match the production schedule at FCA’s Belvidere, Illinois, assembly plant,” Ciucci said.
He wrote that half a dozen positions have been filled at TMD’s Beloit plant including plant manager, HR manager, facilities/maintenance manager and maintenance technicians. These employees are working in Beloit, though off-site, due to the building still being under construction. Kim Schaefer, executive assistant at TMD, said one employee started at the end of October and the others started at the end of November and in December,
“Only a portion of the total employees required to support full production will be required to produce initial samples for testing/validation,” Ciucci wrote.
Ciucci said TMD will be “hiring steadily” through the first half of 2017 with full employment expected in June “assuming FCA meets their planned timing.” He said prospective candidates may apply at tmdinc.com, indeed.com and JobsinRockCounty.com.
Mark Malley, public affairs and communications director for the Wisconsin Economic Development Association, said the agency provided $750,000 in tax credits that can be deducted with corporate income tax forms if TMD decided to move to Wisconsin. The company is expected to create 118 jobs within a three year period in order to get those credits, Malley said.
TMD supplies interior hard trim components for the Cherokee, which includes the plastic interior parts in the vehicle excluding those related to the instrument panel, the doors, the console and the seats.