Dicastal North America hiring and training to start in mid-2015

Dicastal North America Inc., which is taking over the two United Solar Ovonic manufacturing plants in Greenville, has outlined its process for hiring a promised 300 jobs. Teaming up with Central Area Michigan Works Consortium for the hiring process, Dicastal plans to have 124 employees by the end 2015 and 300 by the end of 2016. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

GREENVILLE — This week, the Greenville City Council approved a $5 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) as well as a development agreement with Dicastal North America Inc. and along with that comes a timeline of when the company will bring its promised 300 jobs.


Outlined in the development agreement with the city, Dicastal, an aluminum wheel manufactuer, must hire at least 110 employees in the first two years in order to get its first installment of the CDBG grant, which is designated toward the purchase of the two former United Solar Ovonic (USO) buildings and 97 acres of land. The company also must invest at least $139,616,538 in the first two years.


While the limit was set at 110 employees by 2016, Dicastal’s plans are to hire more than that by the end of 2015.


Teaming up with Central Area Michigan Works Consortium (CAMWC), which covers covers four counties, Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella and Montcalm, for the hiring process, Dicastal plans to have 124 employees by Dec. 31, 2015, with actual production set to begin in early 2016.


“While Dicastal North America Inc. is occupying an existing building, there is still a great deal of work that will need to be done to the physical location, including demolition, renovation and adding about 100,000 square feet of factory space,” said Bernie Polzin, general manager for the Greenville Dicastal plant.

Those plans also include a transformation of the two USO buildings as well as several additions, including one that will connect the two buildings. Additions are set to begin being built from April to December 2015 and production trials could begin as early as September 2015.


“Then we can begin bringing in the actual production equipment,” Polzin said. “Right now, we anticipate that the general factory position hiring and training will begin the middle of 2015.”


Dicastal officials say the full 300 employees should be hired by the end of 2016.


Part of the incentive package to lure Dicastal to Greenville over 35 other locations included $1.5 million in hiring and training assistance, coordinated by CAMWC. That funding includes not only the normal hiring and startup assistance provided through Michigan Works agencies, but a large part of that also involves the Michigan New Jobs Training Program, administered by Montcalm Community College.


“Retaining current employers and assisting them in hiring and training is our first and foremost objective, but landing a new employer is always exciting,” said Kathy Jo VanderLaan, business services manager for CAMWC. “Both retention and attraction take a great collaborative venture, and in the (Michigan Economic Development Corporation), The Right Place, the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and Montcalm Community College, we have fabulous partners. In our region, we all take the ‘no wrong door’ approach, and that leads to better communication and response to our employers.”


Those interested in working for Dicastal should go to the CAMWC website, www.camwc.org. Hiring will begin sometime in the middle of 2015 and more information should be available around that time.


For more information, call the Montcalm Service Center, located at 114 S. Greenville West Dr., at (616) 754-3611.


In the meantime, job seekers can also check www.mitalent.org for current job openings or call or visit the service center.