NORTON SHORES — Growth of 100 percent in 2010-11 and a projected growth of between 20 percent and 30 percent this year has forced River City Rollform to expand its Norton Shores facility by 11,000 square feet as well as an additional half-dozen jobs.
That’s the word from company owner and president Roy Johnson.
River City Rollform, which opened in Grand Haven 16 years ago and moved to its current location at 1130 East Mount Garfield Road in 2003, is a specialty tool and die company that creates tools used primarily in the production of automobiles and office furniture.
“We had a crash in 2008, but we were able to survive it because our customers wanted us to survive it,” Johnson said. “We came out of it well, and now we are expanding to make dies and rolls, so that we will be able to produce complete tools.”
The 11,000-square-foot expansion will more than double River City Roll Form’s facility, which is currently 8,000 square feet.
“We are crazy busy,” Johnson said. “We have added nine new machines since November and have hired seven or eight people and are getting ready to hire six more.”
Johnson said he is willing to train employees who can work the hours required by a tool and die manufacturer.
“In a tool environment, there can be a lot of overtime, and it’s hard to find people who are willing to come in those kinds of hours,” Johnson said. “I have bought as much automated equipment as possible to get the most out of the people we've got.”
Johnson had not planned to expand until 2013, but his customers’ demands have pushed up those plans.
“To meet the demands of my customers, I’ve been forced to accelerate that schedule,” he said. “And I don’t see this slowing down for at least another two years.”