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OHIO STAR FORGE With 10-year tax break, officials express optimism



Published: Fri, January 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The company's Japanese owner still must approve the project.

WARREN -- A tax abatement will aid Ohio Star Forge in its $10.7 million to $13.2 million improvement project here -- and could mean more growth in years ahead.

"Hopefully this may be the beginning of something very much larger for Ohio Star Forge," said Jeff Downing, president and chief executive.

There are other phases of expansion that could follow this first renovation and addition to some older buildings, company officials hinted Thursday, without saying much more.

Trumbull County commissioners approved Ohio Star Forge's 60 percent, 10-year tax abatement on new real and personal property. The deal has also been approved by Champion Township trustees.

About the operation

The company manufactures forged steel parts for the auto and bearing industries. It operates on a two acres at the rear of the shuttered CSC Ltd. property.

A wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese company DAIDO Steel, Ohio Star Forge is DAIDO's only manufacturing plant in the United States.

DAIDO has not given final approval to the project, said Brent Currington, Ohio Star Forge's human resources manager. The Japanese owners will meet on this in February.

"In February or March we'll have the final answer," Currington said.

Employment

Ohio Star Forge now employs 70 full-timers and would create 10 to 14 full-time jobs, mostly entry-level labor. The current average wage for all employees there is $13.46, Currington said.

The company is planning $850,000 to $1 million in new construction, along with $560,000 to $690,000 in improvements to its existing facility. Also, $7.7 million to $9.4 million would go toward new equipment.

Inventory would be $1.6 million to $2 million, and an additional $55,000 to $65,000 would go for furniture and fixtures.




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