STURGIS, MI – Walk-in van manufacturer Morgan Olsin Corp. is preparing to ramp up production for its peak building season, which starts in May and goes through the end of the year.
That means its regular workforce of 250 or more workers will grow to about 600 during that time.
The additional hiring of temporary workers is necessary to fill fleet orders from one of its major customers, United Parcel Service.
That delivery service may order from 1,500 to 3,000 new vans annually, said Steve Hart, human resources manager for Sturgis-based Morgan Olson. The company does not yet know how many.
Morgan Olson is a privately held business — owned by John B. Poindexter of Houston — that makes the bodies for walk-in vans, including the cab, a bulkhead that accommodates wiring and allows drivers to pass into the cargo area and the cargo area itself. All are made primarily of fabricated aluminum and range in size from 14 to 30 feet in length. The company’s customers have included Aramark, FedEx, U-Haul, Penske, Ryder, W.B. Mason, Ameripride, Unifirst and the U.S. Postal Service.
“We are doing some additional work for them and that’s why we have a need to add workers,” Hart said of United Parcel Service.
But he also said the ramp-up is a pretty normal occurrence.
“Our peak time when we get orders in, is the second, or mid-second quarter until almost the beginning of the fourth quarter of the year,” said Hart.
Hart said UPS looks to have vans delivered by Nov. 1, in time for Thanksgiving and the holiday shopping season. Production can sometimes be held up by the availability of chassis, however, he said.
Morgan Olson has a total of about 400,000 square feet of space at its main assembly and office facility, at 1801 Nottawa St., or a half-mile away at three facilities on Centreville Road.
Hart said the company struggles to find skilled and semi-skilled workers such as brake press operators, CNC (computer numerical controlled) operators and other machine operators. Hiring will include assemblers, welders, wiring people top coat painters and assemblers. The majority of the work will be in assembly operations, Hart said.
Good assembly operations job candidates are those who understand hand tools (such as drills, rivet guns and huck guns). Those interested in applying for work may submit a resume or work history to Lenea Roberts, employment manager for the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.