By Colin Read, Press-Republican, March 3, 2014
We all remember that line from the 1960’s era film “The Graduate” when the young college graduate, played by Dustin Hoffman, was advised by his future father-in-law to go into plastics. The field was hot then, and it is still heating up in Plattsburgh.
Mold-Rite capitalized upon the plastics revolution in 1976, and has been growing in Plattsburgh ever since. A little over three years ago, Irving Place Capital, a large private equity firm with an excellent Wall Street pedigree, saw the value in our local jewel on our own Wall Street in South Plattsburgh, and purchased the company from the Titherington family. A couple of years later, they attracted Tim Boshart as their manager from Plattsburgh’s Georgia Pacific plant.
Since their beginnings, Mold-Rite has expanded two-hundred fold. It occupies 340,000 square feet and employs almost 500 skilled individuals. Its current employment total makes it one of the region’s largest private employers.
“We are an advanced manufacturing facility. We could not survive in this competitive industry if we did not develop computer-aided manufacturing, advanced robotics, and state-of-the-art measurement and instrumentation capabilities to ensure our customers receive the best possible product. For us, to stand still means falling behind,“ Boshart noted.
Mold-Rite designs some of its own advanced manufacturing equipment. Some of these designs it also shares with other plants in its network. It employs 21st century skilled workers for 21st century jobs, and appreciates that the local colleges are now training employees for skills that were barely in demand even a dozen years ago.
Mold-Rite believes that it must play a part in the cultivation of a skilled local workforce. Tim Boshart has worked with Clinton Community College in particular to ensure that education is not something one does to the age of eighteen, but is something that is pursued over a lifetime.
Across town from Mold-Rite, on the west side of the Town of Plattsburgh, is BFG International. Formerly Solve Composites, one partner bought out another and is in the process of expanding still further. This advanced fiberglass reinforced plastics firm began in Plattsburgh in 2010 to serve bus and rail manufacturers in our region. They are able to take computer-based engineering diagrams and convert them to finished products with the speed and efficiency demanded of our major transportation sector manufacturers. They pride themselves on Just-In-Time and lean manufacturing techniques and use their computer-based production system to ensure parts are ready when and where they are needed.