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LamTech expects slowdown
Due to closing of local MasterBrand facility
In this Feb. 20 file photo, Fred Zoeller, co-founder, CEO and president of Laminate Technologies, speaks at the Henry County Administration Building.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer
The CEO of Laminate Technologies (LamTech) said the planned closing of MasterBrand Cabinets’ Martinsville facility probably will slow the growth of LamTech’s facility south of Martinsville by 25 to 30 percent but not stop it because LamTech has other business in the region.
Fred Zoeller, co-founder, president and chief executive officer, said Monday the local LamTech facility has about 15 employees, and it probably will be six to nine months before more employees are hired. Initially, LamTech had hoped to have employed 30 people in the first 12 months, he said.
The announcement Friday that MasterBrand Cabinets plans to close its Martinsville facility “was a shock to us,” Zoeller said.
But he explained that LamTech did not base its decision to locate in Henry County solely on MasterBrand Cabinets and that LamTech has other customers in the region. They include Marsh Cabinets in High Point, N.C., and Lowe’s home improvement in Thomasville, N.C.
“We truly believe the furniture market is rebounding,” he said. “We want to be in a position to capture that.” He noted the area’s availability of a qualified work force and existing facilities in North Carolina and Virginia.
LamTech manufactures customized laminated panels and fabricated components. Zoeller said it is involved in the kitchen cabinet, furniture, store fixture and distribution markets.
Zoeller said instead of taking three years, LamTech’s plans announced in February may now take four to five years.
In February, Zoeller announced that LamTech planned to invest more than $2 million to establish a local plant and create 30 jobs in the former Owens-Corning building in the Martinsville Industrial Park.
Area officials said at the time that LamTech paid about $1 million for the Owens-Corning building, for a total expected investment of $3 million, according to a Bulletin article.
According to the company’s website, LamTech has a corporate office and manufacturing facility in Tifflin, Ohio, and manufacturing facilities in Gallatin, Tenn., and Diboll, Texas.