Valfilm Chooses Findlay, Ohio, for its First U.S. Plant

Brazilian Plastics Firm Retains 55 Employees and Committs to Add 80 More at Site Set to Close

In September 2014, The Dow Chemical Company announced plans to shut down its Findlay, Ohio, plant, which produced polyolefin film since 1959. What could have been a major blow to the community turned out to be a substantial win for both Findlay and Valfilm, a Brazilian company that specializes in developing, manufacturing and marketing flexible packaging using polyethylene.

With its headquarters in Brazil, four facilities in Latin America and another in Europe, Valfilm was actively searching or a location for its first U.S.. production plant. The nearly 40-year old company considered sites in Ohio, Texas and South Carolina.

After learning Valfilm was seeking a U.S.. location, leaders from the Findlay-Hancock County Alliance provided Valfilm executives a tour of a soon-to-be-shuttered facility owned by Dow Chemical. Valfilm leaders found the plant – and its location – too good to pass up. Valfilm purchased the plant from Dow in February 2015 and restarted production a few weeks later.

Valfilm’s decision to purchase the plant kept the facility from being shuttered and helped retain the 55 remaining Dow employees. The company has committed to add another 80 employees and invest $9.5 million in the facility. 

Valfilm recognized the advantages of expanding in Ohio -- the No. 1 plastics product manufacturing state in the country (by GDP). 

  • An existing facility allowing the company to launch U.S.. production quickly.
  • An impressive infrastructure including more than 1,800 plastics-related companies and eight universities with programs dedicated to polymer science.
  • The state's experienced workforce, innovative developments, and central U.S.. location. 

“Having an established infrastructure and existing facilities really made the choice very easy for Valfilm to choose Ohio,” said Steve Shiparksi, operations leader for Valfilm. 

Carlo Bergamaschi, Valfilm CEO, added in a WFIN-TV interview, “We figured out this plant is very well located for the main customer market of the United States and that we could get all the raw materials by railroad. We found Findlay had this potential, and we decided to invest here.” 

Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development, Regional Growth Partnership, and JobsOhio worked together to provide an incentive package that included training support, business assistance, a job creation tax credit and an economic development grant.

Valfilm’s decision to purchase the Dow plant provided a very happy ending to a potentially sad story in Findlay.