Armored vehicle company hiring in West Chester

A global products and services company focused on supporting homeland security and counter-terrorism is expanding its local workforce.

The O’Gara Group, which was established in 1876 as a coach builder in Cincinnati under the name Sayers & Scovill, has a location on LeSaint Drive in West Chester Twp. The company employs 495 people, 188 of them in Butler County, where it has been for the past 35 years.

Recent job growth has been strong and the company is looking to fill at least another 20 positions, according to Michael Reynolds, senior vice president of O’Gara Mobile Systems.

The O’Gara Group reentered the defense space in 2003. In 2001 O’Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt Armoring Company or O’Gara Armoring was divested to Armor Holdings and later to BAE Systems. The O’Gara Group reacquired the local armoring business in 2013 from BAE Systems.

“The armoring business benefits from our strong legacy, adaptability and commitment to excellence in our efforts to protecting our U.S. Government customers and war fighters,” Reynolds said.

The O’Gara Armoring Company has an affiliated business, O’Gara Training Company, located in Montross, Va., and a shared service business located in Chantilly, Va.

We asked Reynolds about the company’s present focus, challenges moving forward, job growth and vision for the future. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: What is it The O’Gara Group’s current focus and what is it working to produce?

A: “The Armoring Company at is core is focused around protection of occupants. We currently produce discrete civilian armor vehicles such as armored Chevrolet Suburbans, Toyota Land Cruisers and a multitude of other platforms which are indigenous to the areas in which they are deployed. Our company also produces armored cabs, transparent and composite armor for U.S. government customers and prime military contractors.

Q: What are some of the major challenges the company and others in the industry are facing?

A: “Our biggest challenge is focused on staffing our business. We have a wide range desired skill levels ranging from novice to skilled trades such as welding, automotive electrical and trim/upholstery. We are looking for individuals who are interested in learning a wide array of skill sets. Our staff ranges from new hires to individuals with 30-plus year of experience.

“We offer on the job training, competitive benefits and highly encourage our staff to become diverse in multiple skill sets. Our business is unique in the fact that we have and currently produce a wide array of products ranging from VIP armored limousines to military vehicles. Our products and the services we provide are something that individuals can become passionate about because of who we serve.”

Q: In what ways are you uniquely positioned to help the industry address those challenges?

A: “It may sound a bit generic however our team is what defines our business. We value our team members input and value their experience. Through our teams vast amount of experience it is uniquely positioned to offer on-site training and encourage employees to cross train.”

Q: What’s recent job growth been like and how many more are you looking to hire in the near future?

A: “Job growth has been strong. We have brought on 188 employees in the past year. We are looking to fulfill at least another 20 positions ranging from fabricator-welders, general assemblers, laser operators and brake press. Our biggest challenge is finding individuals who have technical qualifications.”

Q: What is the company’s vision of growth for the near future?

A: “Our company is focused on firmly establishing ourselves as the premier provider of armored products to the U.S. Government and those who support their mission. We intend to grow our business organically through research and development.”

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