MAPLE HEIGHTS – GOJO Industries, maker of Purell and other sanitizers, announced Tuesday the purchase of a 325,000-square-foot facility in Maple Heights that the company will use to manufacture and store its products.
The company announced the $25 million deal for a facility at 5700 Lee Road after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during his coronavirus news conference that the expansion is part of the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to Fight COVID-19.
Akron-based GOJO announced last month its plans to open a warehouse in Stark County to store and ship Purell and other sanitizers the company has made at increased rates since January to meet demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company has also hired additional workers for its plants in Cuyahoga Falls and Wooster.
DeWine said GOJO has been working with JobsOhio in their efforts to expand their footprint in the state. The company expects to hire about 100 workers for the Maple Heights plant, and another 100 for the Navarre warehouse and other facilities. GOJO employs about 2,500 people worldwide, according to the company.
“These new investments demonstrate the confidence that they have in Ohio’s future and in Ohio’s talent, which is hard at work producing and distributing crucial Purell products used worldwide,” DeWine said. “This is truly about Ohioans protecting Ohioans.”
Cuyahoga County Council is considering granting GOJO an economic development loan for a maximum amount of $3.5 million, which the company would pay back over 20 years with a 2.5% annual interest rate. The total cost of the project to develop the plant will be $25 million, according to the resolution being considered by the council’s Economic Development Committee.
“Part of our strategy in strengthening our local economy is to focus on our strengths and GOJO fits right into our sweet spot,” said Jack Schron, Cuyahoga County Councilman and Economic Development chair, who proposed the loan. “I am thrilled that GOJO is locating their plant, which will be producing their newest surface spray product, right here in Cuyahoga County. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with this global leader in skincare and surface solutions.”
GOJO CEO Carey Jaros said the company is producing twice as much as it did before COVID-19, and that she expects demand to continue.
“We believe the world will forever be changed by this pandemic and we see this translating to a sustained increase in awareness of the importance of safe and effective hygiene practices,” Jaros said. “This will result in ongoing, heightened demand for our essential Purell skincare and surface solutions.”