ST. MARYS — A company that has been in operation for 30 years in its original spot is hard to find these days, but that’s exactly what AAP St. Marys Corp. has done.
The business, located at 1100 McKinley Road, St. Marys. is a subsidiary of Hitachi Metals American, which is part of Hitachi Limited in Japan. The company is involved in the design, development and manufacturing of cast aluminum wheels for automakers. The facility prides itself on taking care of its employees and community.
“AAP begin its operation in 1988. At that point it started with about 60 associates, and today we have over 600 associates,” said Dan Hosek, senior manager, associate relations. “We have continued to grow over the years, and we’ve had six major expansions of our facility since the beginning.”
The business takes pride in its workforce.
“We are proud that we’ve been able to offer very steady employment for over 30 years that we’ve been in operations. That’s a good thing. We are looking to increase staff at this point, and we’re especially looking for people in the maintenance trades,” Hosek said.
“We’ve partnered with St. Marys City Schools for a couple of years, and we’ve offered maintenance scholarships. We’ve had three or four students that have come out, and they’ve joined us in a maintenance helper role. Then we offered structured training that we’ve done through Apollo Career Center, and when they finish with that, they’ve got an excellent opportunity to become a skilled maintenance technician. It’s kind of growing our workforce from within.”
Staying tried and true to what works benefits the organization. However, the facility believes there is room for improvement.
“Since the beginning we’ve produced and shipped over 50 million wheels,” Hosek said. “One of the things that we’re re-dedicating ourselves to is some of the principles of lean manufacturing, and in particular workplace organization.
“For that we are analyzing the workplace, defining what the standards should be for all aspects of the workplace and identifying and eliminating waste where it exists. Throughout that whole process, of course, we are getting active involvement and participation of all the associates who work in those departments that are affected.
“We look at the end result of that kind of activity. We expect it will have a positive impact on things like safety and quality and productivity and cost efficiency. If that’s not enough, the other side benefit that we really expect is that it will serve to instill a sense of pride in the workplace among our associates.”
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.