Up to 250 jobs coming to Archbold - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Up to 250 jobs coming to Archbold

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A Northwest Ohio company has inked a deal to make dozens of products for the world's largest home furnishing retailer. The deal between Sauder and IKEA means new jobs and a multi-million dollar investment at the Fulton County company. Sauder has about 2,400 employees in Archbold. Within the next two years that number could increase by up to 250 people because of a new 5 year deal with IKEA.

Sauder has been making things in Archbold for three generations. Kevin Sauder is the president and CEO, "My grandfather started the company about 80 years ago and we are still right here in Archbold and 90% of our product is made here in Archbold."

The company has grown to become one of the biggest furniture companies in America and the biggest maker of ready to assemble furniture in North America. Sauder has its own lines, they make lines for big retailers like Walmart and Target and they also do work for big contract customers like IKEA. They've been working with the Swedish company for 7 years, "People don't realize we make all the kitchen cabinets for IKEA's North American stores right here Archbold. You're looking at the lines right behind me where they are packing the products." The new work Sauder will be doing for IKEA includes dozens of pieces like bedroom, home office and entertainment furniture as well as children's storage pieces.

Sauder will invest about $13 million in new equipment and technology, "They put us on a 5 year contract and because of that we are confident in investing in technology and hiring people full time." The new work in Archbold is coming from Europe. In addition to cost, Sauder says the move has a lot to do with the workforce, "Our employees are special. They work as a team. They are used to working together to troubleshoot and to make things happen. IKEA saw that and our work on lean manufacturing and safety and they said we want that workforce on this project. They like the skills, the attitude and the culture we have here."

Sauder expects to begin hiring later this year into early next year. The production lines will gradually ramp up with full production expected in mid 2015.

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