TROY — State officials and local dignitaries gathered to break ground at Clopay Building Products on Oct. 15 to celebrate the expansion of the manufacturing facility and addition of 205 new jobs.
When the groundbreaking ceremony began, Clopay President Steve Lynch shared how Clopay has seen many changes in 10 years.
“I remember when we first talked about this facility, we were making picture tubes in 2005 and today, I’m proud to say this is the state-of-the-art, most technologically advanced garage door manufacturing facility in North America, and that’s not by accident,” he said.
Lynch said a lot of investment was put into the facility during the time where similar companies were backing away from construction, and credited the success of Clopay to the team members, including members of the Pioneer Club, which recognizes employees who have 20 years experience or more.
Lynch recognized the number-one guy, Allie Cordonnier, who is now starting his 51st year with Clopay, and praised Cordonnier’s dedication to the company.
Cordonnier said the changes over his tenure were amazing, from the size of the facility to the number of people working.
“When I started there was 12 of us employed, and everything was 100 percent wood,” he said. “Everything was done manually. We didn’t even have a forklift at that time.”
Now everything is automated and the garage doors Clopay constructs are insulated. Cordonnier said everything is almost 100 percent steel, which can make a house look elegant.
“I never knew they could make a garage door look so good,” he said, followed by a laugh. “It’s come a long ways in my 50 years.”
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel spoke about Clopay’s contribution to the community and how it could help an upcoming generation. Developing a strong workforce and encouraging students to go into careers in manufacturing, Mandel said, was one of the best ways to help young adults avoid education debt, enter into good careers and help the economy of Ohio.
Other speakers Ron Kramer, CEO of Griffon Corp. which owns Clopay; Glenn Richardson of JobsOhio; Julie Sullivan of the Dayton Development Coalition; J.C. Wallace of the Troy Development Council and Troy Area Chamber of Commerce; and Tom Tathan of Dayton Power and Light.