Industries

$10.3 million project will add 61 jobs to plant’s staff

  •  | 
Print this page by Joan Tupponce
Article image
O’Sullivan Films has operated in Winchester since 1936.
It has 450 employees. Photo by Norm Shafer

Continental AG, the parent company of O’Sullivan Films in Winchester, chose the  Shenandoah Valley plant over a company facility in Mexico for a $10.3 million expansion. The project will add 61 jobs during the next three years at a site already employing 450 people.

Big factors in Continental’s choice were the quality of the Winchester plant’s workforce and its consistent production track record, says plant manager Scott Krueger.

“We felt positive that this would be the right location for that expansion.”

The project will include extensive internal modifications and additional equipment at the plant. Jobs will be added in areas such as production, technical, research and development and support functions.

“The expansion will allow us to provide a greater range of products to the marketplace and also expand capacity,” Krueger says. “We will be making more and different products, especially in the market known as synthetic leathers.”

Continental, a German automotive products company, acquired O’Sullivan in 2017, allowing the Winchester facility to “take advantage of opportunities at a higher level,” Krueger says. 

O’Sullivan began operations in 1896 in Massachusetts making rubber heels for shoes. It moved to Winchester in 1932 as O’Sullivan Corp. before becoming O’Sullivan Films in 2006.

The company has made automotive interior trim materials since the late 1940s. Today the Winchester plant provides raw materials to manufacturers. “We develop sheet products that someone can turn into another product,” Krueger says. “If it’s soft to the touch in a car — seating, instrument panels, door panels, etc. — we have the ability to make the material for someone.” 

The company works with manufacturers in a variety of other industries including outdoor decking, and medical, residential and commercial flooring.

“The expansion will allow us to provide a greater range of products to the marketplace and also expand capacity,” Krueger says. “We will be making more and different products, especially in the market known as synthetic leathers.”

In connection with the expansion, O’Sullivan received a $188,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund and is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program as well as sales and use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment.

In filling new positions, O’Sullivan will conduct national and international level recruiting for certain jobs. “For our skilled trades, we recruit more locally,” Krueger says. 

O’Sullivan already is one of the largest employers in Winchester. “It’s part of our community identity,” says Shawn Hershberger, the city’s director of development services.

Expanding the Winchester plant is a “vote of confidence for the leadership and works of this facility,” he adds. “We are a community that has seen a lot of recent job growth. It’s just another sign that this is a great place to do business.”




Reader Comments

comments powered by Disqus


showhide shortcuts