Hillsdale Daily News: Walberg visits Hartzell Veneer
By Andy Barrand
HILLSDALE — Only five months after making the move from Arkansas, Hartzell Veneer Products in Hillsdale is up and running in full production mode.
While in the are Monday, Congressman Tim Walberg took the opportunity to speak to the employees at Hartzell Veneer after taking a short tour of the facility. Also on hand to welcome the company to Hillsdale were members of the Hillsdale City Council, Mayor Scott Sessions and State Rep. Ken Kurtz.
"We are delighted to be here," Walberg said. "It's always an exciting opportunity when we can get back into the district and walk through manufacturing facilities.
"It is those manufacturing facilities that are the heart and soul of the district," he added.
Before Walberg met with employees and guests, Hillsdale City Manager Linda Brown and Economic Development Director Mary Wolfram welcomed the facility to the city. In doing so they presented the company with a certificate that can be used to buy a lot in Three Meadows Subdivision for $1.
The incentive is given to manufacturers that locate in Hillsdale County.
Hartzell Veneer currently has 31 employees, six of which transferred to the area from Arkansas. The manufacturing facility is currently in the process of building a 35,000-square foot expansion.
Once that expansion is complete, estimated to be sometime in 2014, the staff will double in size.
The facility makes veneer facings for cabinets, doors and other wood products.
Walberg said he was amazed by the process that goes into making the facings. He said he appreciated the quality and workmanship that was going into the products being made at the facility.
Walberg took questions from employees of the facility. One question asked focused on healthcare.
Walberg said he doesn't support the current plan. He is in support of letting health insurance companies compete for business across state lines.
"Hopefully people come together and say no, this isn't for us," he said.
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