By TIMOTHY COX
Celina Aluminum Precision Technology (CAPT) plans to continue
its rapid growth with the addition of new production lines that
are expected to add 36 jobs at the metal casting plant just
east of Celina.
Dennis Lee, the company’s senior manager, detailed the
$12.8 million expansion plan at a breakfast meeting this morning
hosted by the Mercer County Community Development office.
“We’ve come a long way since 1996,” Lee told
the crowd of business people and local government officials.
Mercer County and Celina City Schools officials already approved
a 10-year tax abatement that forgives taxes on the new equipment.
The company will make annual donations to the school district
to offset lost tax revenue.
CAPT plans to use the 48,000-square-foot addition it now is
building to house two new 1,650-pound die-casting machines and
two new machining lines. The new production will require 36
new people, including line workers, engineers and managers and
should be fully operational by May 2005, Lee said.
CAPT will use the new equipment to make the lower engine block
for the Honda Civic. The high-pressure die-casting and machining
necessary to make the new part will help CAPT diversify its
production processes, Lee said.
The company will have about 425 workers when the expansion is
Lee also talked about the newly developed CAPT Technical Center.
The purpose of the office is to “develop equipment and
tooling that is unique to CAPT,” Lee said. The center
allows the company to more fully research and test new equipment
and production processes before bringing them to the factory
floor, he said.
CAPT first came to Celina in 1994 as a first-tier supplier to
Honda of America. At that time, the company made three different
pistons, which were supplied solely to the Honda engine plant
in Anna. Mass production began in early 1996 and by 1999, the
company was making seven different pistons, cylinder heads and
water passages for engines with its parts being shipped to plants
in Anna, Alabama and Mexico.
Lee said company officials expect to make more than 300,000
of the new Civic lower engine blocks annually, which will bring
total production at the facility to about 6.5 million parts
About 100 CAPT workers have been on the job for at least five
years, Lee said. About 65 percent of the company’s workforce
is from Mercer County with workers also driving from Auglaize,
Darke, Van Wert, Jay County, Ind., and seven other counties,
Also this morning, the group heard from Dan Wood, executive
director of the National Christian College Collegiate Association
(NCCAA). The NCCAA plans to host its national championship tournament
in Celina for the fourth time.
This year, the organization would like to involve the 250 players
and coaches in some sort of community service project. Wood
asked local organizers of the tournament to help come up with
ideas for potential projects.
“We want something hands-on they can do before they ever
play for the national championship,” Wood said.
Wood said the organization has been thrilled with the local
tournament ever since former Celina Mayor Paul Arnold’s
administration brought the games to town. The visiting players
and their families means about $50,000 in direct economic impact
during their stay here, Wood said.
Wood said the NCCAA is a group of Christian colleges with more
than 14,000 student athletes across the nation. When asked what
religious denomination the organization represents, Wood said
the NCCAA includes everyone from “the frozen chosen to
the happy clappy.”