Topre America Corp., a Japanese auto-parts manufacturer who came to Springfield in 2016, has announced it will expand its footprint in Springfield, bringing over 200 more jobs to the area. Here are three things to know about the expansion.
1. Company expands three times in less than two years
Officials from Topre said Monday the company will create 204 jobs and invest $73 million as part of an expansion to its plant in the Champion City Business Park. The park is still under construction.
The announcement marks the third time the company has made plans to expand its workforce in Springfield. In December 2016, the company pledged to bring 20 jobs along with a $10 million investment. Then it added 85 jobs and a $55 million investment in March 2017.
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2. Springfield chosen for its workforce, location
Brad Pepper, the vice president of Topre America, said Springfield’s workforce was the primary reason it was chosen over sites in Indiana, Alabama and Tennessee.
Nearly 300 people applied for the first jobs Topre made available in 2016 and of that number, he estimated 80 percent were qualified to work for the manufacturer. That, along with Springfield’s proximity to Topre’s customers, were key to the decision to expand again here, Pepper said.
3. Officials say expansion ‘important step for region’
Horton Hobbs, vice president of economic development for the Chamber of Greater Springfield, said he is hopeful the announcement will draw workers from outside Clark County. He said about 54 percent of Clark County’s workforce now travels to other counties for work. These new jobs are a step toward reversing that trend, Hobbs said.