Tech Re-Opens Former Therma-Tru Plant
July 9, 2009
Door manufacturers who may have thought they would pick up business
when Therma-Tru announced late last year that it would close its
Fredericksburg, Va., facility, will now face new competitionfrom
Canada's Tru Tech Doors.
The manufacturer, based in Ontario, wanted to expand into the United
States, so it purchased the Therma-Tru plant and held a grand opening
event yesterday. The new location will produce doors for light commercial
and residential applications.
|Tru Tech president, John Careri (center left),
cuts the ribbon during the company's Fredericksburg, Va., grand
opening event July 8.
Tru Tech officials say they can't figure out why the plant closed
in the first place and cite the company's seasoned employees and
ideal East Coast location as its keys to success.
"It didn't make sense why this facility was closing,"
said Tru Tech president John Careri.
And of course the employees who work there are thrilled to be back
Patty Hayes, a 12-year employee said, "We were hoping someone
would buy it. It's a great facility."
The purchase did, however, come at almost the eleventh hour.
Sam Collister, general manager for TruTech, came to the facility
four days before it was set to close looking to buy the equipment.
But when he saw the dedicated employees and impressive facility
he changed his mind and thought the company should purchase the
Collister was so impressed that he convinced TruTech president
John Careri to travel to Fredericksburg to see the plant first hand
and Careri was convinced as well.
"John said, 'In two days they're closing this? Why?,'"
That's exactly what Therma-Tru plant manager Ernie Hinegardner
thought so he was happy with the news.
But he was so confident in his facility and the employees that
when he heard Collister was coming, he said, "This could be
According to Hinegardner, the average seniority at the facility
is 19 years.
"Not many companies can say that," he said.
"We were able to hire an experienced team," added Collister.
Not all employees have come back to work but the company, and Spotsylvania
County, where the plant is located, is hoping for much more.
"We hope you reach that 200-some job plateau as quickly as
possible," said Jerry Logan, a member of the Spotsylvania County
Board of Supervisors.
The Fredericksburg location is a great one, but Collister admits
that Tru Tech officials were looking in the New England area as
a possible location for the first U.S. plant.
"It wasn't the exact area we were looking for, but when you
are able to hire an experienced management team and factory employees,
it's a great opportunity," Collister said.
Also working in the company's favor was the type of doors produced
at Therma-Trusteel-edged doors.
"Initially we were looking for machines to produce a steel-edged
product in Canada," said Careri. "The steel-edged door
market was a niche we were looking to fill
. So that [the
fact that these were produced here] was the icing on the cake."
The Virginia facility also will distribute Tru Tech's wood-edged
doors. Collister adds that TruTech "is going to be very aggressive
in the market."
But is that enough to make the company successful here? Careri
says it is.
"We cater to the customer. We listen to the customer. We cater
the program that works for them. We've spent a lot of time developing
new niche products that will fit into their marketplace," he
And, again it comes back to the employees.
"The people here have something to prove," he added.
"I trust in them and they trust in me and we will be successful."
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