U.S. Congressman Mike Kelly toured Onex, Inc in Erie yesterday, April 19th, to see their new facility and hear about the positive impact for growth they’ve seen from several projects working with the Northwest Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC).
Onex President, Ashleigh Walters and NWIRC President Bob Zaruta traveled to Manufacturers’ Hill Day in Washington D.C. last month to advocate for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a network to help small to midsized manufacturers grow. At that time, Walters invited Kelly to tour their plant in Erie next time he was in the area. During the tour, Walters stressed the importance of the work that the MEP program provides. Prior to Kelly’s visit, she surveyed her 40+ employees asking them why regional manufacturing is important. All of them responded with ‘job creation’ on their list. “NWIRC helps companies with projects that lead to positive growth, such as increased sales, cost savings, and job creation,” she said. “Creating jobs at small manufacturers is not just good for that company, but also all the companies in their supply chain.” She explained that the growth that Onex is experiencing also benefits the contractor that built-out their new facility, and many other companies they buy products from or supply products and services to. She told Congressman Kelly that she hopes legislators will take this information into consideration and keep the MEP program in the Federal budget.
Onex started in 1965, and has grown into a furnace service provider that includes combustion services, refractory linings, and shop fabrication for all heat intensive industries and plans to double its growth in the next 5 years.