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Flexfab makes strategic investment in its hometown

his drawing shows how Flexfab building, on M-43 on the west side of Hastings, will look after renovation is complete. Joan Van Houten

 

Staff Writer, Joan Van Houten, reports a renovation project at Flexfab is a strategic investment that's intended to attract up-and-coming millennials to the company in Hastings, a company official said.

Bill Rohr, vice-president of human resources, said their strategy includes extensive renovations and state-of-the-art technology.

The construction at the building on M-43 on the west side of Hastings is focused on the administrative area where sales, engineering and human resource departments are located as well as an addition to the original building.

The renovated area will have larger offices with more offices to be added, a larger conference room and a new break room. All of the new spaces will be furnished with clean-line, modern furniture.

“The decision was made to improve our current location after considering two other options. One option was moving our operations to Cook Street, or ask ourselves: is Grand Rapids our next place to go?” Rohr said.

Rohr said that millennials push away from confined spaces and older technology, and thorough research was completed before the design stage.

The new spaces are designed to have many more windows to open up the rooms and major upgrades to the office equipment, like internet access, computers and computer programs, is planned.

Construction began in February and Jim DeCamp, president of sales and marketing, said the project is expected to be completed by the end of October.

Doug DeCamp and a close friend, Bill Pierce, started Flexfab in a deserted 7,000-square-foot building in their hometown of Hastings in 1961. The company was built on proprietary processes of compounding, calendaring, extruding, molding, and bonding silicone rubber, organic rubber, and reinforcing materials and, in 1963, they won their first federal government contract to sew hoses for heating and cooling systems.

Today, the company reaches worldwide with more than 1,000 employees, including 450 at 150,000-square-foot headquarters in Hastings. They also operate facilities in Brazil, China, and England to provide their products faster and more efficiently to customers outside of the United States.

“Just like most other manufacturers across the country, we struggle with attracting degreed, certified and uncertified employees,” DeCamp said.

Providing a modern, open work environment and state-of-the-art technology and equipment, he said, is “absolutely a strategic move.”

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