Liebert plant official eyes expansion

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 7, 2000

Liebert Corp.

Thursday, December 07, 2000

Liebert Corp.’s goal to hire about 200 more employees through next year is part of expansion plans the company developed when it moved to Ironton, plant officials said.

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"We’re looking into bringing more ‘stuff’ into our facility," plant manager Bob Walters said.

With that boost in production will come a boost in jobs, Walters said.

If the company continues down its successful path, 200 more jobs seems likely, he said, but added that if the economy takes a turn for the worse, it’s not.

"With our plans, it’s a good number for us right now," he said. "As long as we continue our success, we will continue to grow."

That can mean plant expansion, too, something the precision air conditioning equipment company has considered – and talked about – since its grand opening this summer, Walters said.

"It’s something that has been in front of the city and county and state we’re looking into it," he said, but added the idea’s only in the investigation and planning stages now.

"Obviously, we have done wery well," he said. "A lot of it has to do with the market. We plan to be in a competitive market for a long time but we have been very happy with this community, the city, the county and the state, and we’re most happy with our associates we have here who made it possible."

Liebert, created in the late 1940s, has been a division of St. Louis-based Emerson Electric Co. since 1987.

The company signed a 10-year lease with the LEDC for the former Cabletron building in April.

Already, Liebert employs well over the 300 people it expected to have by the end of this year.

That kind of growth, including an indication of 200 more jobs next year, has Ironton citizens excited, Mayor Bob Cleary said.

"I think the city and county commission have been working with Liebert to help promote any type of expansion they want to do, because jobs are the top priority in our county right now," Cleary said.

The council and city leaders also have been meeting together in recent months about an undisclosed economic development project, pledging finances for developing a new industrial site in the city.