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Company with 230 jobs considering Norwalk

Scott Seitz2 • Jun 10, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Norwalk city council enthusiastically adopted two pieces of potentially huge legislation at Tuesday night's meeting.

The first was a resolution approving a job creation grant agreement with Borgers USA Corp.

Borgers is considering Norwalk as the location for its new plant and things looked good after Tuesday's meeting.

Mayor Rob Duncan explained the situation.

"These were tremendous steps forward in the process," the mayor said.

Duncan said as long as several pieces of the puzzle involving the city, state and land continue progressing in a positive way, Norwalk is a leading candidate for the plant.

As part of the job creation grant agreement, Borgers has agreed to build a new facility on 27 acres in the Firelands Industrial Park, creating 230 jobs and investing $60 million total over two phases.

Council also adopted an Ohio enterprise zone agreement for the project.

"This is a quality business that has been in business for 150 years," the mayor said. "It is family-owned and operates 22 plants.

"We are very, very excited about this opportunity," Duncan said, adding local officials and community partners have been working on the project since the fall.

Duncan specifically thanked Ellen Heinz, director of the Norwalk Economic Development Corp., for months of hard work on the project.

"Ellen Heinz and many community partners stepped up above and beyond," the mayor said.

Wilhelm Rochner, a member of Borgers corporate development team, was in attendance at Tuesday's meeting and thanked city council for the opportunity to explain the project.

Rochner said this potential plant involves textiles.

Rochner said workers would process fibers to fleece and then convert that into parts. He cited examples of parts such as trunk trim, carpet in the passenger compartment of a vehicle, also exterior parts and insulation parts.

If the project goes through, the groundbreaking would begin in July because Borgers has a tight deadline production to meet for the automobile industry.

"We're quite confident we made the right choice," Rochner said.

Norwalk was in competition with sites in four states and that was later trimmed down to a site in Indiana.

"We have a tough time schedule," Rochner said, referring to the need to have parts in production by 2015.

Heinz was thrilled with the progress and added this potential project was the most outstanding she's worked on in her career.

Heinz also offered high praise for everyone at Borgers and all the community partners who worked to bring the project to the point it is at today.

"We are very excited about this opportunity," she said.

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