A Windsor-based plastics recycler is expanding into Alabama to take advantage of the growing auto industry in the southern United States.
“A business like ours is trying to follow our customers and expand with them,” said Jeremy Berger, CEO of Green Processing Co. Inc. “For us, it’s a geographic reason, and in the type of business we’re in, there needs to be a radius of reach.”
The company’s U.S. expansion plans are not designed to shift production away from the Windsor plant, Berger insisted.
“We’re not doing anything differently or cheaper in the new location,” he said. “We’re trying to go after a different customer base.
Green Processing refurbishes or recycles plastic and metal containers that transport parts from Tier 1 and Tier 2 auto parts suppliers, such as Magna International. The company also recycles excess or damaged parts discarded by vehicle manufacturers.
“We’re a recycler, refurbisher and reseller of automotive containers — plastic and metal,” said Berger.
Along with Windsor, Green Processing has operations in Cleveland, Ohio, and Laredo, Texas; with the former serving customers in such states as New York, Ohio and Virginia and the latter targeting Mexico’s booming auto sector.
The Windsor site draws more than 80 per cent of its business from the Midwest and Ontario. The new site in Birmingham, Ala., will provide access to an automotive hub that includes Alabama, Tennessee, and South and North Carolina, said Berger.
Like Mexico, the U.S. south has drawn an increasing share of global automotive investment, attracting such automakers as Volkswagen, Hyundai, Toyota and Mercedez-Benz.
But Berger remained bullish on Canada’s auto sector.
“All of the companies I speak with are growing,” he said. “One of the factors is the Canadian dollar. It makes it easier for Canadian companies to compete in the U.S. market. Overall, we have a great workforce pool and great support in Canada.”
Founded less than 10 years ago by Berger, 35, and fellow Massey high school alumni Mohit Nayar and Sam Farhat, Green Processing employs about 100 workers, including 50 at two sites in Windsor — a 60,000-square-foot plant on South Cameron Boulevard and a 32,000-square-foot facility in the city’s west end.
The Birmingham expansion includes leasing a new 25,000-square-foot site that will employ about 15 people, Berger said. He also expects to hire an additional 10 people in Windsor over the next 12 months.
“We need everything from welders, machinists for metal products, sales and marketing people and general labourers,” he said. “We’re expanding and investing quite a bit locally.”
Recent investments include the purchase of property for future growth, installation of a roof solar system and upgrades such as two additional truck docks.
“We’re always looking for investment opportunities,” said Berger, noting that while the company owns all of its Windsor properties, it leases the U.S. sites.
“Every property in Windsor is owned by us,” he said. “It shows our commitment to the city and this economy.”
Source : windsorstar.com