Weastec was officially welcomed back to Greenfield with a reopening ceremony last week at its Greenfield facility, which has been shuttered since 2011.
The event included Weastec officials as well as representatives from the local, county, region and state levels. A tour of the facility was offered to those in attendance.
Weastec’s presence in Greenfield began in 1992, according to information provided by the company. While the first building was leased, by 1995, Weastec had built its own facility at 160 Industrial Park Dr. Injection molded parts and assembled automotive switches and ignition coils were made there and parts were shipped to Hillsboro, as well as directly to automotive customers.
It was economy woes and increased labor costs that led the parent company, Toyodenso Co. Ltd., to “make some difficult decisions regarding manufacturing in the U.S.,” according to the information provided, and in 2011 the Greenfield facility was closed. Since then, Weastec has functioned as a distribution center run entirely from the Hillsboro facility while the Greenfield facility has been used for storage and warehousing.
The year 2020 brought Weastec the opportunity for engine component assembly, and this has led to even more business being awarded. By the end of 2020, according to the provided information, those at Weastec knew they would have to expand or use existing facilities, so a team was put together to take on reopening the Greenfield facility.
As the building had sat idle for so long, several repairs were needed, “including major replacements of its HVAC equipment,” the information says. The company has invested about $2.5 million in total for the project with more than $300,000 being spent on renovations and upgrades to the facilities. For most of the repairs and upgrades needed, local companies have been used. Weastec projects that there will be 20 associates at the Greenfield plant by the end of July. Additionally, the company will “continue to look for new business opportunities for this Greenfield facility.”
On Thursday, vice president Craig Miley said 20 people at the facility is just the start, and they are planning on growth.
Weastec President Ohito Takahashi said his first trip to the United States was to Weastec’s Greenfield facility 20 years ago. He came back there in 2021.
“We very much appreciate this opportunity,” Takahashi said to those gathered. “We wouldn’t be here without your support.”
In the provided information, the company extended its gratitude to those who helped make it all happen: Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin; Steve Hunter of Weller’s Plumbing & HVAC; Highland County Commissioners David Daniels, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton; Highland County Economic Development Director Julie Bolender; Ohio SE Vice President Katy Farber; state Rep. Shane Wilkin; and U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.