Silfex sees more than 500 employees at its Springfield location, plans on more growth

A high-tech manufacturing firm now employs more than 500 people in Springfield since establishing a presence in the area in 2018, surpassing original expectations while continuing to grow.

Silfex, which is based in Eaton and is a division of Lam Research Corp., announced in 2017 it would be expanding into Springfield. The city was selected from nearly a dozen finalists sites.

At the time, the company was looking to eventually grow its Springfield facility, located on Titus Road, to 400 people over a span of multiple years. It had already brought on 150 people by the summer of 2019.

However, demand for high-tech products, and a surge in remote work and remote learning during the pandemic accelerated those growth plans.

The company builds silicon components that are part of the machines that make chips used in several industries, including everything from computer processors to cell phones to cars. It ended 2021 with approximately 500 employees in Springfield and a total 1,500 in Ohio, said Kit Armstrong, a general manager for Silfex.

That surpassed its original goals of having 400 people committed to the Springfield facility and surpassed an original commitment to the state.

As part of an incentive package with the Ohio Tax Credit Authority, Silfex was required to bring 400 jobs to the area as well as maintain operations at the Springfield location for at least 10 years and maintain an annual average payroll of $20.7 million.

As of 2019, the company had poured more than $223 million into their Springfield facility.

Silfex coming to Springfield as well as its continued growth plays into larger redevelopment efforts in the area, said Mike McDorman, president and CEO of the Greater Springfield Partnership.

Silfex’s addition in Springfield is part of a wave of new companies that have established a presence in the area over the past couple of years, and brought with them further investment and new jobs, said McDorman.

“We have been very excited to see (Silfex’s) growth and the opportunities for more of that growth,” he added.

In addition to its facility in the area, Silfex has a location in Eaton. The company boast having the world’s largest custom silicon growing operation across both of its locations in Ohio.

The reliance on technology in a wide array of industries during the pandemic accelerated growth in an already booming industry, said Armstrong.

That added the demand for workforce as Silfex creates precision components used to make and operate semiconductor tools. Potential supplier shortages caused by the pandemic did not have much of an impact on Silfex’s operations in Ohio, Armstrong added.

However, the pandemic brought on additional safety measures that includes mask wearing, temperature and symptom screenings as well as social distancing.

The company is continuing to look at the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is constantly evaluating its pandemic protocols as a result, said Kate Seegraves, a spokesperson for Silfex.

The company saw a continued need in filling open positions during the pandemic and looked at ways to attract labor during that time.

Silfex hosted multiple socially distanced job events throughout the pandemic, looking to fill positions in both Eaton and Springfield. The locations of those events included both Clark County and Preble counties.

Going into 2022, the company is continuing to look to grow its work force.

Armstrong did not provide exact numbers in terms of how many people the company is currently looking to hire, but said that growth is expected to continue over the next couple of years.

In addition, Siflex is looking to expand its crystal growing operation as well as its manufacturing component in Springfield. That includes adding new equipment, new employees and doubling the space of its crystal growing operation.

However, Silfex representatives declined to comment on how much that investment would be or how much square footage the crystal growing operation would encompass at the Springfield facility.

But Armstrong said that work related to facility expansions regarding crystal growing started in 2021 and will wrap up in this year.

Continued growth in the high-tech industry as well as more regional news is expected to play a role in the demand for Silfex’s products as well as its own internal growth.

Intel Corp.’s plans to invest $20 billion in dual New Albany-area semiconductor production sites, which would be about an hour form Springfield.

Intel’s investment in central Ohio could bring opportunity to companies such as Silfex and Armstrong said that they would look to support Intel’s new facility anyway they can while looking at Silfex’s growth.

By the numbers:

  • 500 – number of employees at Silfex’s Springfield facility at the end of 2021
  • 400 – initial employment commitment by Silfex when they established a presence in Springfield in 2018
  • 500,000 square feet - Silfex’s total footprint in Ohio in both Springfield and Eaton
  • $20.7 million - minimum average annual payroll that the company is to maintain as part of an agreement with the state

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