Ahresty Wilmington Corp., a growing auto parts supplier in Clinton County, is hiring more workers.
The company hired 106 workers in 2012 and intends to hire 107 this year, said Justin Rummer, the company’s president. When its hiring push is complete, Ahresty will have 644 Wilmington workers, well above the 450 workers it had in February 2012, making it one of the largest auto components supplier in southwest Ohio, he said.
The Japanese-held company also plans to expand its South Street plant by 25,000 square feet and will make a multi-million dollar investment there this year, Rummer said.
“So many of them (other suppliers) have downsized,” Rummer said.
A die-cast and machining specialist, Ahresty supplies Honda, DMAX, General Motors, Toyota and several other automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). It has 6,500 employees worldwide. Honda is its largest customer, and Honda’s presence in Ohio dictates Ahresty’s presence here, Rummer said.
Ahresty likes to be near customers and does not want to ship expensive components across continents, he said. “We simply locate next to our customers.”
When Rummer joined Ahresty in 1997, the operation was relatively small, with 10 die-cast machines and six machining lines. From 2004 on, the company experienced “very good growth” and after its present investment is complete, it will have 26 die-cast machines and 34 machining lines, he said.
Rummer declined to give an exact figure for the planned investment, but said it will be substantial. “Die-casting at this level is not cheap,” he said.
Ahresty’s plans coincide with a report this week from the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), which said auto parts manufacturing is the largest generator of manufacturing jobs in the United States.
According to that report, Ohio, with 89,423 workers, is second only to Michigan in the number of people directly employed in supplying parts to automakers.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” Rummer said. “It’s a very strong industry … from Detroit down south to the southern states.”
Those seeking jobs at Ahresty Wilmington can apply online — go to www.ahresty.com/careers/ — or visit the plant and apply on a computer there.
The auto industry remains a major economic force in the area, and no other area news organization provides more thorough, balanced and authoritative coverage of the industry.