BASSETT, Va. (September 27, 2011) – GS Industries of Bassett, a leading provider of custom plastic injection molding, today announced it is expanding its business to produce parts for a globally-recognized manufacturer of infant and toddler toys and accessories.
The company, occupying a 148,000-square-foot building in Henry County, expects to add 35 new jobs to meet demand.
“At a time when domestic manufacturing continues to struggle, we’re bucking the trend with quality work, on-time delivery, low manufacturing costs and tooling transfer experience,” said Hank McHale, CEO of GS Industries of Bassett.
The company’s newest client, Kids II, Inc., globally manufactures, markets and distributes products under its signature Bright Starts® brand and holds a license to design and manufacture products under the Disney Baby® and Baby Einstein® brands. Most recently, it acquired the intellectual property rights to Rhino Toys® and Taggies®. Kids II produces more than 400 products worldwide under its brand portfolio.
GS Industries’ injection-molded plastics will be used in Baby Einstein’s Around the World Discovery Center, an activity saucer for babies. The company’s work also will be used to make high chairs, potty seats, booster seats and other items for the U.S. and global markets. The first parts were shipped worldwide in late August.
“With shipping costs rising due to fuel prices, manufacturers are realizing that parts and products can be made more efficiently here at home rather than importing them,” McHale said.
He said Henry County’s low labor costs and access to convenient transportation was a factor in Kids II selecting the company to perform the work.
“We are excited about our partnership with Kids II,” McHale said. “They’re growing and constantly developing new products that we hope we can be a part of in the future.”
Of the 35 new positions, 21 of will be machine operators with the rest in support roles and tooling maintenance.
The new jobs are welcome news for Henry County.
“At a time when manufacturing is focused so much on overseas, here’s an example of how American labor, quality and know-how right here in Henry County can be competitive in a global economy,” said Mark Heath, president and CEO of Martinsville-Henry County Development Corp.
McHale says the company has capacity to grow even more.
“People in this area have lost a lot of employment. Anything that comes in, even if it’s 35 jobs at this time, is a pretty big deal around here,” he said. “It’s a little breath of fresh air and it provides some hope.”