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      Jobs expected to open up after company relocates

      After more than 30 years in business Environmental Protection, Inc. is moving their operations from Mancelona to Garfield Township.

      After more than 30 years in business Environmental Protection, Inc. is moving their operations from Mancelona to Garfield Township. Once the weather warms up they'll be looking to hire more people.

      Employees were hard at work filling orders Monday at the former Lear building on South Airport and Lafranier Roads.

      Expanding from 16,000 to 90,000 square feet, it is the next chapter for the 35 employees at the company.

      ??The support that we've gotten from everyone locally that we've talked to has really been amazing. Everybody is very enthusiastic, very supportive,?? said Dan Rohe, Environmental Protection, Inc. President.

      One of the main reasons for the move was to expand their reach to potential employees.

      ??With Dura Automotive closing a few years ago, a lot of the smaller tool and die facilities in Mancelona are starting to close their doors, so the labor force is something we've struggled with finding qualified skilled laborers.??

      The company fabricates and installs geomembranes and are used for many things, such as lining the bottom of retention ponds and land fills. People looking for work in northern Michigan will be in luck in just a few months time.

      ??As we start to get busier in March and April we will add seasonal staff on as needed. I would anticipate probably would hire four to eight more employees come April or May.??

      The building was purchased in October 2013 for $1.4 million. Although it's unclear exactly how much tax base the business will add to the township, officials say they do expect to see an economic impact.

      People will soon see physical changes on the outside of the building that has sat empty for nearly a decade.

      ??This isn't such an eye sore of a building sitting in Traverse City. We're starting to fix it up and before too long the outside of it will be getting renovated as well,?? said Chris Stone, Project Supervisor.

      Rohe says the Garfield Township plant will be up and running by February 15th.

      Once the hiring process starts this spring the company will be looking for people with experience in construction.

      Potential employees should also like to travel and be able to install their products at the construction site.