Kosmo Machine expands

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Kosmo Machine of Henrico County this year expanded its capabilities, and is in the middle of an aggressive campaign to find new machinists.

The precision machine company has begun an effort this year to hire 36 additional employees. About nine employees have been added so far, bringing the company’s current workforce to almost 60 people. The company hopes to have the additional 25 employees hired by the end of the year.

The Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) is supporting the company’s expansion, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday. VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change.

For the expansion, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership approved VJIF funding of $800 per job for up to a total of $28,800.

Earlier this year, the company bought $1 million of new equipment to add new service lines, including dry ice-blasting services. The new service allows the company to travel to customers’ shops and clean old equipment in a cleaner and more eco-friendly method. “That’s a steady growth area for us,” Pat Smook, vice president of sales and marketing at Kosmo said.

But finding new work isn’t an issue for the company. Recruiting machinists is its biggest challenge.

“Finding work is easy,” said Smook. “Finding machines is easy. Our challenge is in finding people.”

The company trains machinists from the ground up, emphasizing in its recruitment efforts opportunities to participate in training around the country. Today, young workers don’t often understand how exciting the career can be.

“This is a fun, exciting place to work,” Smook said. “The investment in training is very important for our company. It’s our job to keep them here and keep them engaged.”

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