WOOSTER, Ohio –Crediting support from the State of Ohio and the City of Wooster, Seaman Corporation has announced plans for a $7.5 million capital investment program, which ultimately is expected to protect current employment levels and add more jobs in the near future.
Seaman Corporation, with manufacturing facilities in both Wooster, Ohio, and Bristol, Tennessee, is a global supplier of high–performance fabrics and membranes using advanced weaving and coating technologies for roofing, frame and air–supported architectural structures, geomembranes, truck tarps, dock seals and doors, boats and recreation, and other uses.
The company currently employs about 151 people in Wooster, and figures to add about 12 more as a result of the $7.5 million capital investment. While some new jobs will be in manufacturing, most will be in research and development, new business exploration and sales. The Bristol plant employs about 145 people in manufacturing, while the company also has about 25 more sales and technical support employees in national and global locations.
"We are very grateful to the Ohio governor's office and administration, as well as the City of Wooster, for their very defined, aggressive approach to see that our investment in jobs stays in Ohio," said Richard N. Seaman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Seaman Corporation.
"Our last major capital investment in Ohio was in 2001, when we spent $6.5 million on a state-of-the-art equipment investment and building expansion to take advantage of new hot melt, mixing and liquid coating technologies that helped us grow our business," he continued.
"Since then, we have spent over $20 million on capital projects to improve the capabilities of our Tennessee plant, as a result of that state's pro-business environment. Obviously, we are pleased to recognize the renewed support we are receiving in Ohio."
The capital program will be funded with a low-interest state loan for about $3 million, supplemented with conventional financing and savings from a 10-year abatement amounting to 50 percent on new real estate taxes from the City of Wooster. Previously, members of the Wooster Board of Education, the primary beneficiary of local real estate tax money, have endorsed the abatement.
"Over half of the investment will be for new, state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment," said John Crum, Co-President of Seaman Corporation. "About $3 million more will be used for an expansion of the corporate headquarters and remodeling of existing offices.
The plan also reinforces Seaman Corporation's intention to keep corporate offices in Ohio. Tracing its roots back to Canal Fulton in 1949, the company's growth compelled it to move to larger quarters in Millersburg and later to its current location in Wooster, which has been expanded several times.
"Our new capabilities will allow us to both sustain and grow our business by introducing new state-of-the-art top finish products that our markets want and need," said Alex Williamson, Co-President of Seaman Corporation. "These new coatings, applied to our Shelter-Rite® architectural fabrics, will help them to better repel dirt and stains, resist fading and retain their attractive, colorful appearance longer while also achieving the sustainability goals we encounter in many markets."
Some of the same benefits also will apply to Seaman Corporation's FiberTite® roofing systems, Mr. Williamson added. "New roofing membranes with our new coatings will be especially attractive to people responsible for recommending and selecting roofing products for high-profile retail, institutional, governmental and even manufacturing facilities where an attractive appearance, excellent asset protection and sustainability are important."
Seaman Corporation has experienced growth globally with its architectural products, Mr. Seaman noted. "Some people will be surprised to learn that right now in China, there are more than 20 large air-supported structures that were fabricated using fabric produced in Wooster," he said.
"These are high-profile structures, and our ability to continue to provide very strong, durable products that use the latest technologies to retain long-term, attractive appearance is critical to our continuing success."
"One of the keys to our success," said Mr. Crum, "is our belief that investing in new technology can help make our company and our workforce more competitive in both global and domestic markets. New product development must be accompanied by processes that deliver optimum efficiency and excellent quality. We continue to be eager to make investments that will meet those goals. "Thankfully, the leadership in the State of Ohio and in the City of Wooster shares our vision and has stepped up to support our growth plans in terms of jobs and technology."
For information, contact Seaman Corporation at 330-262-1111 or toll-free 800-927-8578.
Seaman Corporation, 1000 Venture Blvd., Wooster, OH 44691. [email protected]