- Eric Schwartzberg Staff Writer
Schneider Electric is expanding its Butler County workforce as it continues to move into its new facility just off Union Centre Boulevard in Fairfield.
The company’s background is mostly in helping customers manage energy at all levels from distribution to consumption, according to Salman Syed, the company’s site manager and overseer of day-to-day operations at the Fairfield facility.
“We consider ourselves the world’s leading specialist on energy management,” Syed said. “We have several brands in our portfolio, notably Square D, APC, Pelco, Telvent, and Foxboro.”
Schneider Electric was founded in 1836 by two brothers in Le Creusot, France. Its global headquarters are located just outside of Paris. The company acquired Square D in 1991 and APC in 2007. Globally, it employs more than 130,000 people and has a presence on every continent.
The company has five Southwest Ohio sites, including an Oxford facility which opened in 1966 and employs nearly 275 people. Its newest plant in Fairfield will be an expansion from its current plant off Windisch Road in West Chester Twp.
The Fairfield plant specializes in providing engineered to order solutions and wiring/integrating control equipment in Low Voltage and Medium Voltage switchgear.
The company also has a site in Dayton that produces sensors, and two other sites in West Chester servicing retrofits of existing customer equipment and installation of building management solutions.
We asked Syed about challenges the company faces, room for corporate advancement and its vision for the future. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: How many people do you employee at your West Chester facility and how many are you hiring? Are they all full-time positions?
A: “We currently employ about 70 hourly and 15 salaried employees. We are looking to hire nearly 66 more hourly employees — 50 temporary positions and 16 full time — and several more salaried employees over the next three months. These openings are across both 1st and 2nd shift. We are in the middle of one our strongest growth periods in recent history and need the right talent to keep us moving forward.”
Q: What’s the vision for the company’s growth in the next five years?
A: “Our vision is to become the premier site for integration of switchgear and other control products for Schneider Electric in Ohio. We firmly believe the key our organization’s success will be our people. Our geographic positioning in Southwest Ohio allows us to access all of our key suppliers and more than 80 percent of our U.S. customer base.”
Q: What’s the biggest challenge facing your company and others in your industry?
A: “Our biggest challenge is meeting demands of an increasingly sophisticated customer that is looking to manage and monitor every aspect of their energy consumption. This means providing more data collection, analysis and ability to interconnect increasingly complex networks for our customer to make decisions quickly & optimize their business performance.”
Q: How is your company uniquely positioned to address that challenge?
A: “We have very strong product development and engineering teams across the company. Our engineers are uniquely qualified to provide highly customized solutions to address almost every market need. Our workforce transitioning from West Chester to Fairfield is highly skilled in all aspects of wiring and testing control wiring and equipment. This combination of engineering prowess and factory skill make for a competitive advantage unmatched by our competitors.”