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Butech expanding

Company purchases former Columbus McKinnon plant on Pennsylvania Avenue

Above, this building on Pennsylvania Avenue which previously housed Columbus McKinnon and Solartec will fill a need for additional space and expansion by Butech Bliss, which recently purchased the 50,000 square foot location. The building is next to the Butech Bliss machine shop. (Submitted photo)

SALEM — Butech Bliss is expanding again, this time buying the former home of Solartec which was more recently the site of the Columbus McKinnon Corporation, at 240 Pennsylvania Ave. in Salem.

Butech Bliss Executive Vice President Jock Buta announced the recent purchase of the 50,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on Wednesday, saying this will help solve floor space issues at the company’s main plant on South Ellsworth Avenue and potentially create 10 to 20 jobs in the next few years.

“This is going to allow us to grow,” he said.

The company which started out at the former Salem Tool building on South Ellsworth Avenue moved across the street into the Bliss facility in 2000, forming what’s now known as Butech Bliss. Then in 2008, the company bought the former Sekely facility on Pennsylvania Avenue, which coincidentally is next door to the newly-purchased space. A press release said the location being next to the existing shop makes for “a natural fit for expansion.”

“We’ve run out of room,” Buta said.

A chopper machine is inspected at the Butech Bliss manufacturing plant, located between South Broadway and South Ellsworth off of Franklin and Aetna. The company will move some operations into a newly-purchased space at 240 Pennsylvania Avenue, with an additional 10 to 20 jobs expected to be created. (Submitted photo)

The company is storing equipment in another building off of South Broadway across Aetna Street near the main plant. The new space will help the company continue growing into the future and Buta said he’s very excited about that.

“This is going to be a great building for us and finally resolves problems with much needed manufacturing space. We have big plans for the operations moving into this space. Although there’s some uncertainty in the market due to the pandemic, we felt this was the right time to position our company with the building capacity for not just today’s workload, but where we expect to be in three to five years,” he said in the press release.

The company is expecting to invest several hundred thousand dollars into renovations and equipment for the new facility which was purchased for $1.25 million. The hope is to have some employees in the new building by the end of this year.

The Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, located in the same building as the existing Butech Bliss operation on Pennsylvania Avenue, has been working with the company on the property acquisition.

SOD Center Director Julie Needs said deals like this are a perfect example of why the SOD Center exists– to help find facilities for companies and market facilities for sellers.

“Butech Bliss is an excellent example of a local company whose growth needs were able to be solved from within the community, locking in future tax revenue for the city and providing well-paying jobs for Salem’s citizens. This is one of the major focuses of the SOD Center, Salem’s own economic development organization,” Needs said in the press release.

The company had originally looked outside the city for property, but that would have been more difficult logistically. The SOD Center provided support on all sides and helped the company find some state assistance.

“The SOD Center connected us with TeamNEO, JobsOhio’s northeast partner in economic development, and within weeks of the purchase offer, Butech Bliss was awarded a $100,000 grant toward building renovations” Buta said.

SOD Center’s relationships with other economic development organizations at the regional and state levels have proven beneficial to both companies and the community at large. The building in question had sat empty for 18 months and SOD had been assisting the owner in finding a buyer.

Butech Bliss manufactures metal processing equipment and coil processing equipment such as trimmers, shears and choppers and is always looking for employees. Buta said the company needs workers, including machinists and welders, and has already started the hiring process for the growing operation.

Interested candidates for welding, machining, machine assembly, manufacturing engineering, and technical sales positions should apply at ButechBliss.com.

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