MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (June 18, 2013) — Construction crews working on the expansion of Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C.'s Mount Vernon tire plant will "top out" the project today by placing the final steel beam on the $95 million, 80,000-sq.-ft. addition.
Mount Vernon city officials and Continental employees were invited to sign the steel beam that is will be used to complete the expansion's framework, Conti said. Construction on the expansion started in January and the expanded capacity is scheduled to be on stream before year-end 2015.
"We are committed to the city of Mount Vernon and the state of Illinois, and we want to share our successes with them," said Benny Harmse, plant manager. "(This milestone) …represents the job opportunity and economic vitality Continental continues to bring to the Mount Vernon area."
The project, which includes adding capacity for wide-base single truck tires, is part of a five-year, $224 million investment at the sprawling car and truck tire manufacturing complex in southern Illinois. It will raise annual capacity for truck tires to about 3.2 million units and create more than 80 jobs, Conti said.
"With the investment…, we are adding volume to enhancing our capabilities for advanced technologies and increase our ability to anticipate the market demands of the future," said Paul Williams, executive vice president, truck tires – the Americas. "This investment is further commitment to Continental's strategy for growth in the Americas."
The project includes adding mixing capacity to support the expanded production.
Event attendees, including Mount Vernon mayor Mary Jane Chesley, were invited to tour the facility, Conti said. The expansion of car and light truck tire capacity to 13.4 million units annually is nearly 95-percent complete.
"I would like to congratulate our employees and contractors on the significant progress made on key areas of the plant, including the mixing, warehouse and PLT expansion areas," Mr. Harmse said.
"As construction continues, we will focus on recruiting, training and developing our team," he said. "Some of the key positions we will recruit for this year include supervisors, machine operators, material handlers and crew members to support our CVT production."
Continental has invested more than $615 million since 2006 in the Mount Vernon facility. Since 2010, the tire maker has added 770 full-time jobs.