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WJBD - Local News - Future of Radiac Abrasives Discussed at Salem Chamber Meeting

Kerry Christofanelli.

Future of Radiac Abrasives Discussed at Salem Chamber Meeting

By WJBD News

The Chief Financial Officer of Radiac Abrasives is optimistic on the Salem plant's future and is projecting a return to their record high employment last year.  

Kerry Christofanelli provided the update at the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce monthly membership luncheon on Thursday.  "We had a high water mark in 2011.  We had about 250 production employees.  We're at about 200 now.  I think we'll get back to that high water mark.  Our intention is to grow this plant about 20-percent from where it is in that sector of the market.  So I think we're going to be here; we're not going to go down in size.  We're going to grow, but it's not going to be hugely dramatic", said Christofanelli.  

Christofanelli says Radiac is doing well under the Austrian based Tyrolit company and the Zeroski family.  He says the company that also owns Zeroski Crystal is quite profitable and they are committed to putting money back into the company.  

Christofanelli reported they will be undergoing a project next year to bring some of the advanced European technology to the grinding wheel plant.  "In the last couple years, we've made two major expansions.  We expanded our mixing area and since the Zeroski family bought us in 2009, we've had about $6 million in the market", said Christofanelli.  

Christofanelli says the company has no problem finding employees and pays competitive wages, but does have problems keeping some because of the nature of their manufacturing facility.  The Zeroski family is very environmentally conscious and a member of the family that has visited the Salem plant has indicated a desire to try and do something about the smell emitted from the plant.  He says the family is also committed to being a responsible member of the community and give something back. 

When asked what the city of Salem could do to assist the company, Christofanelli said they would ask if something came up.  He praised the city's low cost of natural gas that isn't available at their other manufacturing plant.   

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