Manufacturing company serving up jobs in Niles

A trailer manufacturer is coming to Niles, bringing up to 400 jobs along.

Pratt Industries, Inc. will move into the old United Fixtures Shipping building on Third Street.

“Their specialty is they make special trailers for certain jobs for things that need to be transported,” said Niles Township Supervisor Jim Kidwell.

The high-paying jobs will start at about $17 an hour; some workers could make up to $30 an hour depending on their skills.

“When you probably get at least two or three foreclosures a day, I would say that's probably going to stop with the jobs coming in,” Kidwell said. “That's going to mean a lot for us.”

The company has already started renovating the inside of the building and plans to begin operations before the end of the year.

And Pratt Industries, Inc. coming into the community will also spawn growth in other industries like welding and uniform supply.

“It’s an unknown amount of new jobs these 400 jobs will create,” Kidwell said.

Some of them will be at 3rd Street Pizzeria in downtown Niles, which delivers to area factories several days a week.

“We get very excited and we start boosting up our inventory and hiring more drivers,” said Manager Rich Moore.

And Moore can understand just what affect the new manufacturing jobs could have on the community – he started the pizzeria when he lost his job as a manager at a factory 20 years ago.

“It was harder on the family than it was on me,” he said. “The head of the household always has this great confidence, oh don't worry, we'll always do better.”

Now Moore’s nephew, Brad Bauer, owns the pizzeria. He took over after working in factories for more than 30 years.

But in taking over 3rd Street Pizzeria, he found his slice of success.

“This place came along and changed my life,” Bauer said.

And he thinks Pratt Industries coming to Niles could do the same thing for the hundreds of others in town who lost their jobs when the economy tanked.

“It brings hope more jobs are coming behind it. This could change a lot of things down here for us.”

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