Welcome Topre America!
Welcome to Our City, Topre America!
By Mike McDorman, President & CEO, The Chamber of Greater Springfield
So, how does a community like Springfield, Ohio land a Tier 1 Auto Supplier like Topre America? Most often, I like to say, “Location, Location, Location!”
Company Vice President, Brad Pepper, would tell you that Springfield simply wanted Topre to locate here more than the rest. Topre had already visited a few buildings in the Columbus market that worked for their initial needs, but ultimately chose Springfield because the company could simply picture themselves here long-term. In most company searches for a building or land to start or expand a business, a community’s ability or willingness to go the extra mile and deliver what is needed really does matter!
When Topre America first came to Springfield last fall, they were seeking to lease a 20,000 square foot building and bring twenty jobs for three years with hopes of securing enough new business to grow into their own space. The Chamber’s CIC had approximately three weeks to determine if we could handle a $2 Million project with a three-year lease and a promise for a greater company commitment as this new plant location took off.
The CIC ultimately agreed to partner with Thomas & Marker Construction from Bellefontaine, Ohio to construct the new assembly plant on the former International Harvester site. Many communities would not have taken this high of a risk for a small assembly operation with a limited number of jobs. However, the company convinced us they were going to grow this operation quickly with hopes of adding a press operation within three to five years bringing with it hundreds more good paying jobs.
The prospects of Topre America in six short months have changed significantly from a small assembly operation with much risk for both Thomas & Marker and the CIC, to building their own 146,000 square foot stamping and assembly facility with approximately 150 jobs that will average $19.50 per hour.
There are too many people associated with this project to thank them all (You know who you are!). However, I do want to acknowledge the incredible vision of Brad Pepper, Hideo Shimizu (Topre America President), and the entire Topre team; Randy Marker and Thomas & Marker Construction; and Chamber Vice President of Economic Development, Horton Hobbs IV. Thanks to them our community is taking some very important steps on a tough brownfield site with few prospects and bringing it back to life again.
The horizon looks bright for our great community and for companies like Topre America as we continue to work hard, prepare for success and accomplish seemingly the impossible!
Welcome to our City, Topre America!