In a recent development, The Cooper Tire Findlay plant owned by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., said that it is ramping up hiring. The parent company opted not to mention how many jobs it will be adding and how many people are currently employed.
“We’re looking to hire everything from the production floor, so the operators, tire building, some of the traditional operator jobs that we would have had within the facility for years in the past,” said Mark Kreinbrink, Findlay plant manager. “But then also looking to expand from a capacity standpoint so that it would impact supervision as well as technicians and even with support engineering.”
The plant has returned to its seven-day-a-week production schedule after the five-day-a-week schedule was waived.
“Right now is a great time to be part of the tire business from a standpoint of just the overall demand we’re seeing right now,” Kreinbrink said.
New car sales are still low when compared to the pre-pandemic levels. This is still a good indicator for Cooper as its main target has been the replacement tire market.
“From a replacement (tire) standpoint, it definitely ticks an uptick with regards to the number of Cooper tires that you see,” he said.
Goodyear is also transferring most of the three-ply tire production from Texarkana, Arkansas, to the Findlay plant. The production capacity at the latter plant is being increased while square footage remains the same.
Investment in the plant has doubled to improve capacity and enable the incoming production. The three-ply tire is more durable than the conventional radial tire with one or two cords. It is made for jeeps, trucks, and off-road enthusiasts.
“It allows a vehicle to go places that it typically does not get to,” he said.
Kreinbrin added that the workforce ramp-up will unfold in different phases in the coming years. The Findlay plant has provided more learning-type and apprentice positions considering the nationwide shortage of qualified workers for jobs in the manufacturing industry. This will allow those without skills to learn on the job.
“Wanted to get the good story out with regards to the Findlay plant and the opportunities that are there for us to secure a future — a long-term future — for its employees, the people that are working here currently, as well as those future employees to work here and to retire from here,” he said.