PALMETTO -- A plastic injection molding manufacturer has tempered its short-term hiring projections since moving across the Manatee River.
Global Components announced plans last fall to hire 50 local workers as part of a relocation from South Manatee to a larger 16,000-square-foot plant in Palmetto.
The firm is up and running at its new home, but lingering struggles in the automotive industry have slowed its initial growth -- keeping the payroll count essentially flat.
Company officials still hope to meet their hiring target in the next two years, a projection that will greatly depend on the success of its new product development in the medical industry.
"We haven't added very many jobs at this point, and in fact, things are quite slow, especially this season," plant General Manager Rodney Cole said. "Our three-year projection was we could add 50 new jobs, and there's still a possibility of that, but it is taking longer than expected."
A division of TCB-Arrow, which is based in the United Kingdom, Global Components designs, manufactures, and distributes plastics injection-molded products and silicone valves. The company also makes its own automotive ignition components.
The firm last year was awarded a $60,000 performance-based incentive grant from the Manatee County Commission, along with $240,000 from state economic development pro
grams, records show.
But since that time, its workforce has stayed at about 20 employees.
A major portion of the local operations for Global Components stem from the automotive business, which hasn't picked up as much as the manufacturer had hoped.
Part of the delay also came when its partner venture with Hybrand never fully materialized.
The sister company was envisioned to facilitate Global Components' entrance into the medical field, bringing a sales team of 12 to Manatee. That never happened.
"The partnership venture didn't come through the way we intended it to," Cole said.
Global Components Medical, formed as the Hybrand replacement, is still slated to come here to sell infusion sets for IVs and other medical products under development that the company would not discuss.
Cole hopes as the medical manufacturing gets off the ground, many of the jobs promised will still follow.
And if those efforts fall short, callback provisions written into the government grant will force the company to repay any incentives that have already been issued.
"There's very specific criteria for incentives," said Sharon Hillstrom, president and CEO of the Manatee Economic Development Corp. "There's a system of checks and balances in place so the incentive rewarded never comes to fruition if provisions of the job creation aren't met."
Josh Salman, Herald business writer, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @JoshSalman.