November 07, 2012 - Michigan's gubernatorial leaders paid a visit last week to a Lake Orion business and witnessed local innovation.
From left, Molds, Patterns and Dies (MPD) President Richard Bondar, Michigan Governer Rick Snyder, incoming Township Supervisor Chris Barnett and MPD General Plant Manager Jerry Lilly tour MPDís M-24 manufacturing facility last Thursday. For the story, please see Page 3. Photo by L. Farrell. (click for larger version)
Governor Rick Snyder and Lt. Governor Brian Calley stopped by while on his ballot proposal information tour to meet with the men and women who work at Molds, Patterns, and Dies (MPD).
Snyder praised MPD as one of "top places in the country to do this kind of work, and for really being an innovator." MPD is proof that "Michigan is the comeback state today," he said.
According to Richard Bondar, President of MPD, his company is a specialty tool and die welding company. Eighty percent of their business is with automotive companies, stamping out quarter panels, and welding modifications to your car's dashboard.
Founded in 1974, MPD has expanded into a 14,000 square foot facility at the southern end of Orion. The company employs about 30 skilled technicians who provide parts to the company's customers in automotive, aerospace, and medical industries.
In addition to conveying his advice for the upcoming election, Snyder also pointed to MPD as an example of rising wages and good jobs returning to Michigan.
"We're talking about adding on another 18,000 square feet to put in another large furnace so we can accommodate some of the aerospace work," Bondar confirmed.
This expansion means that MPD will bring about 10 new jobs to Lake Orion.
"Once we get the furnace in, we're going to need at least five more people. We [also] want to get our third shift back on. With another shift, that's about five more people, so about 10 more employees" Bondar said.
This furnace will be one of the largest in the region, and should open a lot of doors for MPD.
"It's really going to grow their business. At a time when a lot companies are really scared, it's neat to see one of our local companies willing to take the risk and reinvest in their business," said incoming Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett.
Lake Orion resident and MPD employee Joel Hadden was proud to have the Governor visit his shop, and is also optimistic about the direction MPD is headed.
Hadden sees MPD's fortune as a forecast for national pocketbooks. "I feel like the economy is definitely boosting back, and I feel that companies like MPD are a big part of it," Hadden said.
MPD management has treated him "like family," and he loves coming to work, Hadden said. With an expansion and new hiring planned for the near future, Hadden has good reason to be optimistic.
Barnett thanked the Governor for visiting Orion Township.
"I think it's incredible that he took some time out of his schedule to come here to one of our awesome local manufacturing companies," Barnett said. "Anytime we can get our little community some attention and one of our great businesses here some attention—that's a good thing."
Bondar's conversations with the visiting chief executive were also positive. "Reading about him is one thing, but meeting him face-to-face and talking to him, I'm really impressed with him," Bondar said.
Lake Orion was grateful for the Governor's visit, and even more grateful for the expansion coming to MPD. Soon to have the largest furnace in the region, the expansion will mean more jobs for the region, and that is good news for all of us, including Governor Snyder.
If you'd like to learn more about the exciting work at MPD, visit their website at mpdweldinginc.com.