Despite a wretched winter, construction is on schedule and nearly half complete for a 180,000-square-foot Monclova Township technical center and office building that will house engineers, managers, and other staff for Dana Corp.'s axle and driveshaft operations.
The Toledo auto supplier, meanwhile, continues to search for 50 experienced design, product, and test engineers to work in the $30 million automotive systems group technology center scheduled to open in November. Jobs at the center, which will have about 450 employees in all, will pay an average of $62,500 a year.
Dana is consolidating tech centers now in nearby Springfield Township and in Fort Wayne, Ind., from where about 100 of 300 employees offered positions have declined to transfer. The Fortune 500 company has hired some replacement employees, will leave some redundant posts vacant, and hopes to have the remaining jobs filled by fall, said spokesman Jeff Cole.
The 90,000-square-foot, two-story office portion of the complex is enclosed. Work began Tuesday on the steel framework for a 90,000-square-foot laboratory, an attached one-story structure that will snuggle into the L-shaped office building and be about as tall to accommodate testing equipment, said Terry Jones, Dana's director of global engineering centers.
“By May, it will look like ... a complete building,” he said.
Construction began in November and has not been held up by winter storms, thanks to the mostly local tradesmen on the site, Mr. Jones said.
Besides moving axle-related jobs from Fort Wayne, a process for which the first of two phases is completed, Dana will relocate equipment from the Indiana city. Equipment and 175 driveshaft-related jobs also will be moved from the Springfield Township technology center, a leased building for which Dana will find a tenant, Mr. Cole said.
Besides the construction costs, Dana will spend $15 million on equipment for the center. It will use three-dimensional computer modeling and testing, have a prototype assembly area, and use video and computer-network links to factories and customers.