ENNIS — Members of the public will soon get a first-hand look at how manufacturing plays a vital role in the local and national economy.
Ennis Spring will open its doors on Oct. 6 as part of Manufacturing Day. Visitors to the facilities will hear a presentation, tour the building and learn more about the mattresses inner-springs manufactured onsite.
“In Ennis, we have a large manufacturing base of companies here and in so many ways we are blessed those job opportunities are here for our residents and surrounding areas. It is a great day and I look forward to touring Ennis Spring,” Ennis Chamber of Commerce President Jeannette Patak said. “To me, it is always interesting to visit our manufacturing companies because you don’t realize what all it takes to make that product and the specialty of it. It is just very interesting to see all the different aspects of putting a product together.”
Patak stated that she hopes that people will come out to learn about these manufacturing companies that are opening their doors to the public on that day to tour.
According to Leggett and Platt's, which Ennis Spring is a division, website, the business originated in Dallas in 1938 but temporarily closed during World War II. It then reopened in Ennis in 1946. Ennis Spring Manufactures Bonnell, VertiCoil, and Superlastic Innerspring units along with the support equipment needed for production.
“The average person, if they don’t have a connection to manufacturing doesn’t know that it is alive and well and thriving and is one of the primary drivers of the North American economy. They may think we don’t make anything anymore, or that all manufacturing has moved to China,” Christopher Glenn, Director of Public Affairs and Grassroots for Advocacy for the National Association of Manufacturers, said. “They may still harbor the belief that it’s dangerous and dirty. Manufacturing Day allows people to see behind the closed doors of manufacturing plants and learn first hand that these beliefs are outdated and incorrect.”
According to the Manufacturing Day’s website, the event started in 2012 as a way to celebrate modern manufacturing. Manufactures opened its doors in an effort to educate the public about manufacturing. In 2012, 240 manufactures in 37 states participated, and about 7,500 people attended events. Last year 595,341 people took part in Manufacturing Day in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
“Leggett and Platt is a 100-year-old company, and they have been in the Ennis area for 50 or more years. They have been a great employer for our people providing great benefits and great jobs for a very long time. I think that it is important for our community to know that we are a manufacturing community. We have many great manufacturers in our community that provide a great economic atmosphere for the people that live and want to stay here,” Ellis County Pct. 2 Commissioner Lane Grayson stated. “I think that it has always been a continuous draw to bring to people and families to our community because these are skilled labor jobs. Manufacturing does not mean that you make a widget and go home they are skilled jobs that require skilled operators at doing specific tasks for the manufacturing industry. I am very proud to be apart of this community and to see our manufacturers reach out to our people and let us have the opportunity to know how broad-based we are.”
Ennis Economic Development Coordinator Marty Nelson shared Grayson’s thoughts about this event.
“Ennis is ‘Made in the USA.’ Manufacturing partners like Leggett & Platt create value by exporting goods and importing capital to our local economy. Almost half the property value of Ennis originates with this sector. Having run a manufacturing plant myself, I can attest to the challenges of finding and retaining a skilled workforce,” Nelson said. “Manufacturing jobs are a way young men and women can earn enough to support themselves and a family. Modern factories are clean, safe and usually operate on LEAN and 5S principles. Leggett & Platt and several other local industries have expanded their facilities recently and are looking for the next wave of young men and women who will take pride in making something someone else values and appreciates.”
Groups of five or more are required to register in advance, but individuals are not obliged to register in order to attend Manufacturing Day. The event will take place from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Ennis Spring located at 4100 Interstate Highway 45 in Ennis. People who are interested about the event or want to register to attend they can go www.mfgday.com.