LEWIS CENTER — WIKA Sensor Technology broke ground Tuesday afternoon on a 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Creekside Business Park at the end of Corduroy Road in Orange Township.
General Manager Steve McCullough said the company’s 32 employees are currently working out of Worthington, but should be able to move into the completed building in July. The extra space will allow the company to add 15 new production jobs, he said. Spread over 14 acres, there is future capacity for the building to be expanded to 100,000-square-feet, and adding up to 45 more more jobs.
“Expanding our physical footprint and local workforce in central Ohio is key for WIKA to keep pace with our growth, particularly in aerospace,” McCullough said. “We have the knowledge and skill set available in the Columbus region, so expanding our footprint, production capabilities, and talented team here will position us to better serve our key market areas effectively.”
Between the land and construction, the investment in the area is $5.4 million, said Todd Gardner, president and head of Americas, WIKA Group. He said he’s fortunate to work for a company that believes in owning its own building and equipment. He said WIKA was founded in Germany 75 years ago.
Glenn Richardson, managing director of advanced manufacturing, aerospace and aviation for JobsOhio, said WIKA is an Industry 4.0 company that will help locally. He said the business could have relocated to its American headquarters in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
“We appreciated the way you value the talent of our workforce,” Richardson told WIKA representatives during the ceremony. “We’re going to continue to walk this path with you.”
Delaware County Commissioner Gary Merrell said he was working the polls on Election Day, but he felt it was that important to be on hand for the groundbreaking.
“You’re going to be a great addition to this county,” he said.
Citing the growth of Delaware County, Commissioner Jeff Benton said WIKA is part of the county’s smart growth strategy to attract businesses and diversify its tax base at shovel-ready sites like the business park.
“We’re thrilled that WIKA Sensor Technology is nearly doubling the size of its Delaware County workforce and bringing that growth to Creekside Business Park,” said Delaware County Economic Development Administrator Rob Platte, in a statement. “The positive impact of this investment will expand employment opportunities for our community and further strengthen our manufacturing ecosystem.”
“With talent from Ohio, WIKA is rapidly growing production of sensor technology, which is critical to improving efficiencies and safety in aerospace and other industries,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef, in a statement. “WIKA’s new, cutting-edge facility in the Columbus Region is an example of the leading role Ohio will play as sensor manufacturing technology continues to evolve and is more evidence that Ohio’s manufacturing industry and workforce is experiencing a generational resurgence.”
A press release announcing the event states, “The WIKA Group has continuously advanced instrumentation for pressure, temperature, level, flow, and force measurement. Leveraging decades of experience, we developed a broad selection of stock and custom instrumentation as well as engineering services to support plant safety, productivity, and profitability. A global leader in lean manufacturing, the WIKA Group has manufacturing locations around the globe, which enables flexibility and the ability to meet high delivery demands.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.