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IKO Plant Progressing, Job Fair Scheduled

With the IKO Southwest shingle manufacturing plant progressing in the Hillsboro industrial park, company officials are starting to focus on the hiring process.

Working with Texas Workforce Commission, Hill College and TSTC, a job fair has been scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 21-22.

It will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Hill College welding building on the Jerry Norton Wallace Campus south of Corsicana Highway.

According to Derek Fee, IKO’s manager of corporate communications, 60-65 people will be employed initially to operate the plant.

Those interested will go through a screening process coordinated by the college and workforce commission before the application process begins.

U.S. Regional Manufacturing Manager Dan Redmond has been in Hillsboro on several occasion over the past several weeks to coordinate the process.

“When IKO opened its Sylacauga, Alabama plant in 2014, we used a screening process, which proved to be effective.

“IKO will be operating one of the most automated and modern shingle plants in North America, and the screening, hiring and training of our employees is critical to our success,” Redmond said.

IKO is expecting to have the hiring process complete by the first of July to start the training phase.

For operators, it will be a three-month process where they will spend two weeks in Hillsboro and they shadow an operator in Kankakee, Illinois for two weeks.

The process will repeat itself over the next two months, with operators actually running the plant in Illinois by the end of the third month and ready to hit the ground running when the Hillsboro plants comes on line in November.

 General contractors Bob Moore Construction of Arlington and Casey Industries of Denver have had over 300 workers at the site most days recently as the pace of the project picks up.

Bob Moore has been in charge of erection of the roughly 300,000 square feet in buildings and installation of external tanks.

Casey Industrial’s responsibilities include installing all of the equipment and piping on the interior of the production portion of the project.

One of the final phases of the project is the installation of the railroad spur into the plant. Rail line work is expected to begin this month.

When the plant starts up it will operate with two 12-hour shifts Monday-Thursday.

That could be expanded with the addition of third and fourth shifts as employment grows to the 100-employee range, according to Redmond.

The office area of the complex is expected to be completed in the next month as the sales force mobilizes locally.

Luis Diaz will serve as plant superintendent and Raymond Hatfield is over maintenance.
Diaz relocated from the Illinois plant and Hatfield, who is originally from Weatherford, came from IKO’s Sumas, Washington plant.

Initially, the Hillsboro facility will be able to produce over 100 truckloads of shingles each day, depending on market demand

IKO, which is the largest exporter of roofing shingles globally, has 25 plants in North America and Europe.

The Hillsboro plant completes the company’s footprint in the United States that will allow IKO to serve the Southwest and West Coast from the local facility.

IKO officials made presentations at the Hillsboro Lions Club and Hillsboro Rotary Club this week.

 

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