Delaware News

Maker of Honda parts will expand, add 50 jobs at Delaware facility

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A planned expansion of an auto-parts manufacturer's facility will mean more jobs for the city of Delaware.

AHK Ohio, a division of American Howa Kentucky, received approval last week from the city for an expansion that will more than double the size of its Stover Road facility.

AHK purchased its current facility, a 35,000-square-foot building constructed in 1990, in 2011. The planned 36,000-square-foot expansion will be at that site, just west of the current building.

AHK Ohio spokesman Tom Kiely said the company employs 72 at its current facility and hopes to add 50 or more workers within the next two years at the expanded site.

"It's good for us, and we believe it's good for the city as well," Kiely said.

He said the firm makes headliners -- the foam-backed material on the inside of car roofs -- for Honda Accords at the current site, while the expanded site will focus on the manufacture of headliners for Honda Civics. Construction of the new facility is expected to begin in the spring.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 50 percent, eight-year Job Creation Tax Credit for the expansion project in October. According to the authority, the project is expected to generate $1.8 million in payroll, in addition to the plant's current $2.4 million in payroll.

American Howa opened a plant in Bowling Green, Ky., in 2007. After growing that facility, the company began looking for a site for expansion in Ohio.

Company officials selected Delaware in 2011 after looking at potential sites in Logan, Union and Madison counties. The company cited Delaware's proximity to Honda plants in Marysville and East Liberty as well as access to the workforce in southern Delaware County and northern Franklin County as key to the decision.

Kiely said many of the workers at the current plant live in the Columbus area.

Delaware City Council unanimously approved the preliminary and final development plans for the company's expansion at its meeting last week.

City Manager Tom Homan said city officials have been working closely with the company on the expansion project.

"This is quite exciting, obviously, and we're just pleased that AHK has decided to move ahead," he said.

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