Flex Films to stabilize production before start of second phase

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Now employing nearly 100 at Elizabethtown plant

By Marty Finley

Flex Films USA aims to stabilize production lines and seek full capacity before undergoing phase two of construction at the T.J. Patterson Industrial Park on North Black Branch Road in Elizabethtown, according to a company official.

The flexible films manufacturer now employs nearly 100 and still has open positions, Human Resources Manager Devon Logsdon said.

Logsdon said the company is reviewing applications and resumes for potential hires. Last year, Logsdon said the first phase of hiring should round out around 125.

Those interested in applying can submit an application and resume to the Office of Employment and Training or the company’s security office at its plant. Logsdon said Flex Films officials also plan to have a booth at the 2013 Regional Job & Career Fair Expo at Pritchard Community Center, hosted by the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce and the Elizabethtown Career Center.

The company has been in production for roughly 12 weeks and primarily develops film for the food and pet industries, Logsdon said. It also develops film for other industries, including the safety and automobile industries. For example, Logsdon said, the plant manufactures film caps for yogurt pouches and metallized film used in helium balloons sold at supermarkets and other locations.

Logsdon did not have a timeline for the start of the second phase but said the company will sync its a schedule once production steadies and clients are able to approve samples. Logsdon said many of Flex Films’ clients purchased shipments from the company’s plant in Mexico. Some of that production has been absorbed by the Elizabethtown plant and customers have requested sample rolls of film for use before they commit to shipments from the new plant.

By providing samples, Flex Films allows customers to ensure the product meets their standards and determine if shipments received from Kentucky are of an equal or greater quality than those manufactured in Mexico, she said.

Logsdon said the transition to production was smoother than most start-ups. While complications and unforeseen circumstances crop up, she said company officials were pleased with the earliest phases of manufacturing.

“We’re running smooth,” she said.

Once finished, the plant is expected to employ around 250 in a range of positions, including production and warehouse teams, human resources, accounting and finance, plant and operations management, information technology and mechanical maintenance engineers, and technicians, among others, according to officials.

Logsdon declined to comment on an exact number of available jobs because those numbers might fluctuate once the second phase is complete and she was not at liberty to discuss the matter.

A rail spur and railroad crossing were completed on North Black Branch Road to accommodate shipments of supplies and materials. Elizabethtown Executive Assistant Charlie Bryant said Tuesday the city is waiting on confirmation the signal crossings are ready to open.

“We’re going to have that soon,” he said.

The city also needs to complete shoulder work on the Cecilia side of the roadway before it reopens to traffic.

City officials have indicated there could be intermittent driving delays once the road fully reopens with deliveries and shipments pouring in at Flex Films. Bryant declined to comment on when those delays would occur or how often because he is not familiar with the company’s delivery schedules and is unsure how long it will take for railcars to switch and offload those shipments.

Uflex Ltd., the parent company of Flex Films USA, has promised a $180 million capital investment in the city and will boast a payroll in the tens of millions, according to officials. Founded in 1983, Uflex is an industry leader in the manufacture of polyester chips, specialty films, coated and metallized film, laminates, pouches, holographic films and adhesives used in packaging.

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.