General Composites, Inc. is hosting a job fair and open house next week.
The company that was started by Jeff Allott in 1987 is ready to take a more prominent role on the world stage.
General Composites, Inc., located in Willsboro, has been at the forefront of composite technology and design for a while but was waiting for that extra push to put them over the top.
“We have done a lot over all of these years,” Allott said, including combining plants in their Willsboro site, which allowed them to be certified by the International Standards Organization.
“That helped us so we could look for an outside power to help us grow,” Allott said. “We want to be a significant player in the composites industry, not just locally or regionally but worldwide.”
The push came when a private equity group out of Rhode Island invested in the company.
“The biggest key was to find somebody who was willing to believe in us,” Allott said. “This group had an interest in advanced materials. They knew that we were poised on a high growth area of production and our hope is that we are going to have some significant stories to tell over the next five to 10 years.”
Allott, who along with founder now has the title of Vice President of Business and New Product Development, said he was proud to see the company where it is today.
“This is exactly what I was looking for,” Allott said. “It has been a lot of fun to watch this growth over the years. I wanted to be at the point someday where I was sitting in a different position.”
“It’s pretty exciting to see what is going on and that is a big part of why I am here,” Mimi Lane, Plant Manager, said. “The common thread for us is that we bring the expertise of composite design.”
“It’s nice to see that the company is continuing to grow and that we are not going away,” Production Manager Bob Egglefield, who has been with the company for 16 years, said.
As part of taking the next step, General Composites is hosting a job fair and open house Thursday, May 31, from 2 until 6 p.m. at their plant, located in the Willsboro Industrial Park.
“GCI is here and is very much committed to the community,” Allott said.
“We want to get people in here and aware of what we are doing,” Egglefield said.
The job fair and open house is a chance for people to see what GCI does and produces, which is more than what some may believe.
“A lot of people still think that we make kayaks, which we actually don’t,” Allison Whalen said. “We make paddles for a kayak, though.”
“We are really a manufacturer of composite, component parts for other companies,” Lane said. “We work with people who have a product and are looking for a replacement to metal.”
Allott said that one area that has been growing recently is automotive and aerospace.
“As gas prices go up, companies are looking for lighter materials that will help with fuel efficiency,” he said.
“We deal with everything from recreational to medical and do deal with some automotive,” Lane said.
Lane said that the fact that they are on the forefront of composite technology means that they are not only a manufacturing entity, but also a design entity.
“We are using a multitude of materials to come up with what is needed to accomplish the job,” Lane said. “We can go from the design room and the base fabric all the way to the finished part.”
Items that GCI currently work on include backpack frame sheets for packs used by U.S. Special Forces; medical external fixation devices and surgical targeting devices; snowboard bindings, custom bicycle forks and golf club heads; as well as automotive inlet ducts.
For more information on General Composites or its May 31 job fair, visit the website www.generalcomposites.com.