Job Expansion

The Morgan County Improvement Corporation (MCIC) along with Jobs Ohio, Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG), Morgan County Herald newspaper, and the Morgan County Commissioners’ and Business Development Office were invited on a tour of the Miba Sinter and MetalAxis facility, in McCon­nelsville, on Friday, Feb. 26.

“Miba Sinter and MetalAxis, today, employees 220 white and blue collar employees,” said Miba Sinter Site Manager Steve Krise. “When I came to Morgan County, Ohio, from PA, in 2009, Miba had three employees, including myself. In 2010, Miba Sinter employed 35 people. In the next two to three years, Miba Sinter, in McConnelsville, will hire even more people from the area and could employ a total of 350 individuals by the time the plant is full.”

The steady growth of Miba Sinter is impressive for the Morgan County area and its employee base.

The Morgan County Improvement Corporation actually owns the Miba Campus and has multiple lease agreements in place as originally secured by Ted McConnel and Chris Christie, over the past 12 years. MCIC is now encouraging Miba Sinter to make use of the MCIC/Miba Campus space for their continued growth and successe.

Miba Sinter and MetalAxis are, somewhat, separate businesses, but work together in the same facility. Sintering is a high-precision, high-strength parts process, produced using specialty technology developed internally by Miba, for the automobile industry. The parts Miba manufactures are used in automotive engines, transmissions, body chassis, and pumps.

Krise explained how Miba Sinter doubled the production capacity of the plant, in 2015, by building a new addition onto the present complex. The addition also doubled the size of the current facility.

Miba now has eight production lines in operation and plans to add several more in two to three more years, if not sooner, as long as the automobile industry continues to do well.

“We employ 775 people at our site in Austria, 860 in Slovakia, 485 in China, 430 in Brazil, 222 in India, and 220 in McConnelsville. We currently want to build our workforce in China and McConnelsville, USA,” Krise explained.

Krise stated that the Morgan County area is special because of the great work force. He said Miba has no problem finding good help. The absenteeism is the lowest of any Miba plant worldwide, and to most employees their new job position is a step-up from their previous employment, so they strive to maintain quality products. Plus, Miba employees are trusted to operate some of the most advanced equipment in the sintering business globally, right out of training.

“It takes a solid business plan with the correct strategies, wisdom and experience to know what to focus your efforts on, and Miba Sinter’s success here in Morgan County and southeast Ohio is a result of their plans,” says Executive Director of MCIC Carl Raines. “Miba understands the business world is ever-changing and the rules can change quickly. As we saw during our visit, it is their employees and technology that has led to their huge impact here in Morgan County. Miba Sinter has increased employees from 35 at year end 2010, to now over 200, in early 2016 with anticipation of employing more over the next three years.

“Local attorney Chris Christie and former manager Ted McConnell worked endlessly, back in 2004-2005, to obtain the facilities and to land Miba, in order to give Morgan County an employer with growth potential and staying power. Miba Bearings, Miba Sinter, Miba’s North American Service Center, and Miba’s MetalAxis total employees now equate to over 500.”

Miba has plans for continued growth, continued recruitment of local talent, and possibly the construction of more facilities. Miba also invites the parents of local junior and senior high school age students to tour its campus. Once the parents see the clean and bright working conditions of the plant and realize the benefits available for their children, the parents tend to steer their children towards career training and possible employment at Miba.

“Miba Sinter is a valuable business to Morgan County and to this region of Ohio,” relayed Director of Morgan County Development Office Shannon Wells. “The success that they are experiencing is exciting and encouraging, and I couldn’t be happier as I tour the Miba Sinter plant and see so many familiar faces.”

“We are very grateful to Steve Krise and the leadership at Miba for their dedication to Morgan County, and we are looking forward to the potential growth the future will bring,” mentioned Morgan County Commissioner and MCIC Board Member Adam Shriver. “It’s obvious that the dedicated workforce in Morgan County, and those that surround it, is the biggest reason to be enthusiastic about the future of Miba Sinter.”

From Morgan County Herald  |  March 9, 2016