The assembly department at the Springfield Topre plant in 2019. Representatives of the company said that production there will gradually ramp up over the next few weeks. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Topre America brings back 100 workers to Springfield facility

Topre America resumed some of its operations at its Springfield facility on Monday, a move that brought back approximately 100 workers who were temporarily furloughed.

The auto parts maker is expected to gradually ramp up production over the next few weeks and roughly 40 to 50% of its workforce in Springfield has returned, according to Brad Pepper, the company’s senior vice president.

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So far, 130 people are working at the facility out of 230 that are employed there. Pepper said they plan on bringing more workers over the next few weeks. He said they plan on hiring additional staff as well going into the summer.

Originally, the company planned on hiring an additional 100 workers at the Springfield facility. However, that number will likely be altered due to market demand, which has been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Pepper said gauging that demand is an ongoing process and they plan to readdress the situation in June. A lot of the work done by Topre in Springfield is dependent on Toyota. As a result, the Springfield facility follows a similar production schedule aligned with the automotive manufacturer.

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Topre stopped production at the Springfield facility in March due to state guidelines implemented as well as the impact on supply chains in the auto industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With about 100 workers returning to the facility on Monday, plans have been put in place in order to comply with state safety measures pertaining to COVID-19. That includes social distancing, modifying manufacturing lines and work stations, implementing temporary barriers and assigning additional personal protective equipment to employees, Pepper said.

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