Anyone who tried to drive through GC mold around the afternoon of Feb. 17 may have encountered a traffic backup.
An extremely oversized semi-truck load, with State Police escorts, inched its way along U.S. 12 to south Centreville Road.
What might have been a temporary annoyance for drivers was actually a sign of growth for Sturgis Molded Products on Clark Street, said Jason Harloff, vice president of manufacturing.
The oversized load was an injection molding press. Weight restrictions required that the 204,000-pound piece of machinery be on a series of trailers to distribute the weight, limiting damage to roads. And it traveled many roads from Virgina to Michigan, said Norm Brown, automation technician at Sturgis Molded Products.
Brown spent three months arranging the permits and escorts required by each state through which the machinery was hauled.
The latest acquisition will be used to create bleacher seats for gymnasiums, and hopefully is ready to go by summer. Job growth is expected to come about from that project, although company officials didn’t have an immediate estimate of the number of new positions.
GC has other growth in the works. Construction of a 20,000-square-foot addition is under way and all work has been contracted to local companies, he said.
The new building added to GC’s existing 146,000 square-foot space, where the company manufactures a variety of products for appliance, automotive, consumer and industrial, medical and packaging companies.
Products include trash-cart wheels, scoops for baby formula, airbag casings for cars and dosage cups for medicine.
GC currently employs more than 200, with jobs in production, clerical, engineers and specialized technical resource workers.
GC will seek an educated and skilled work force to fill any new positions, Harloff said.
“Employees with an associates degree, along with those who are skilled in maintenance, machine repair, mold-making, tool-making, electronics and trouble-shooting, will be in high demand,” he said.
Those jobs will require less manual labor, since much of the machinery is sophisticated automation — robots, Harloff said.