GREENSBURG – In early 2013, Delta Faucet Co. employees in Greensburg worried about their jobs. They had seen, over the last few years, the number of jobs at the local plant, on the city’s southwest side, dwindle from more than 1,000 to just over 100.
Plant Manager Scott Wesseler said talk among the workers — and community members as a whole — often dealt with the plant’s future — and likely demise.
But a recovery in the housing market, greater efficiency in the local plant and a decision by Delta’s parent company to diversify the local production has effected a renaissance that has nearly tripled the company’s jobs in Greensburg.
Marc Coplon, executive director of the Greensburg/Decatur County Economic Development Corp., said that city officials learned in spring 2013 that Delta’s parent company, Taylor, Mich.-based Masco Corp., planned to add jobs to the local operations.
“That was great news,” Coplon said.
Coplon and Greensburg Mayor Gary Herbert reached out to Delta officials to see if they could provide any assistance.
So last year, Delta Faucet invested about $12 million into the plant, which dates back to the late 1950s, to modernize the processes of putting a finish on faucet components and to add production of tubs for baths and showers, Wesseler said.
“Everybody kind of breathed a sigh of relief,” he said.
Today, the plant’s roughly 350 employees work with a sense of optimism. With wages starting at $14, few jobs remain unfilled.
Wesseler said that on one hand, the local plant’s rebirth has its origin in a narrower focus of capabilities related to faucet components — but also a broadening of its product mix.
A decade ago, the local plant produced, finished and assembled faucet parts. Today it focuses solely on finishing, or putting chrome, stainless steel or any of 14 such finishes over the components. The components, made primarily from zinc and brass substrate, are manufactured elsewhere and shipped to Greensburg. The finished components are shipped from Greensburg to other plants for final assembly.