Decatur Plastics will be adding a third shift to its plant in Gadsden, which will boost employment to about 100, plant manager Roger Compton said.
The plant is called a flocking operation, a process in which plastic products are coated with adhesive followed by the application of electrostatically charged flock fibers that are made of nylon.
Compton said the additional employees are needed to keep pace with the production of parts for the 2006 Mercedes M-class sport utility vehicle produced in Vance and the Mercedes R-Class Grand Sports Tourer, which will also be produced in Vance and will be available this fall.
The plant will flock a total of 26 different parts for the two vehicles.
The increase in jobs will double what company officials had projected when the plant was announced in February 2004. It is also exceeds what company officials had said in February at a grand opening/open house when John Kussman, president of Decatur Plastics, said employment here could reach 80. Kussman said then the plant employed about 25 and employment was to increase as production ramped up. Full production was expected to begin this month.
Compton said the plant recently had added about 18 workers which boosted employment to about 75 and about 25 more will be added over the next few weeks. Jobs are available in the fiber coating operation, industrial maintenance, quality auditing, forklift operations and shipping and receiving. Starting salary is $7.25 an hour with review every six months until the top level is reached.
He said people interested in the positions should contact the Alabama Career Center, which is the local employment service, at 216 N. Fifth St., where they can talk with a representative of Alabama Industrial Development Training. Compton said they would prefer that people go through the training but that is not always the case.
Information is also available from the AIDT web site at www.aidt.edu/companyjobs.html or the Alabama Career Center site at www.es.dir.alabama.gov. Training is offered in the evenings at no charge so trainees can continue working at their present jobs. Trainees are not paid while undergoing training and employment is not guaranteed for all trainees.
The plant is flocking parts for Delphi Safety and Interiors, which is located about 300 yards away from the Decatur Plastics plant. It produces parts for Mercedes in Vance.
The company has two other plants in Indiana.
By Andy Powell
Times Staff Writer