OXFORD, N.C. — Bridgestone Americas Inc.'s Bandag tread rubber plant in Oxford marked 50 years of production recently in the company of past and current employees, Bridgestone corporate executives and invited guests.
"This achievement is a testament to the dedication of our employees in Oxford and their continued commitment to making mobility more efficient for commercial customers," according to Eric Higgs, president, truck, bus and retread tires, U.S. and Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations L.L.C.
During its 50 years in operation, the Oxford plant has received several certifications for quality management and environmental responsibility including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications. The plant also has obtained the Carolina Star Certification, which recognizes employers who have implemented safety and health management systems to reduce employee injury rates and is patterned after the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration Voluntary Protection Program.
Originally opened by Bandag Inc. in 1969, the facility is one of four tread rubber plants Bridgestone operates in North America to service its retreading franchisees. The others are in Chino, Calif.; Griffin, Ga., and Abilene, Texas.
Bridgestone took over the plant in 2007 as part of its $1.05 billion purchase of Bandag.
The 225,000-sq.-ft. facility and 135,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in Oxford employ nearly 200 in the production of precured rubber tread, cushion and chemical materials used in the retreading process, Bridgestone said.
Employees at the Oxford facilities participate in community volunteer projects with the United Way and the Granville Public Schools Reading Buddies program. In addition, the Oxford plant is a Vance Granville Community College scholarship sponsor, Bridgestone said.
In recognition of the 50th anniversary, employees made a monetary/philanthropic donation to a local food bank and the local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club.
At a ceremony Sept. 26, Mark Highland, plant manager at Oxford, thanked employees for their "continued dedication to engineering products that are reliable, profitable and sustainable" and the Oxford community for its "ongoing support."