This is about a month old, but the Wayne County Press printed an article (5/4/06) about Champion Laboratories Moving 100 jobs back to West Salem, IL from Mexico. They would also be closing the plant in Mexico. This is good news for people looking for work down in southern Illinois. For those of you that don’t know, my grandfather, Harry Clemmons, was one of the 4 original founders of Kleen Pak Manfuacturing (which is now Champion Labs).
When the four founding members got together, my grandfather was already doing this as a business. He and his brother, Howard, would go around to filling stations and take their old oil filters, take them back to the shop, clean out the cotten and then repack the filters and resell them. Harry and Howard started this business with only $14 back in 1948/49. In 1956, Harry went in with three others to form a new company. Harry’s 25% contribution was the equipment and existing clientel. They moved the operation to West Salem. A few years later, they aquired Champion Labs.
Here is the short story from the Press:
100 Jobs – Champion Closing Mexico Plant, Moving to Albion
State Senator John O. Jones says there is some good news for southeastern Illinois as Champion Laboratories, Inc. plans to close its facility in Mexico and move those jobs to the Albion location.
Champion Laboratories, Inc. will close its Mexico plant on June 1. The move is expected to create about 100 new jobs at the Albion facility.
“Most of the time we read about how companies are moving jobs and opportunities to foreign countries,” Jones said. “Herre, we have a company that is moving those jobs back to Illinois. We are talking about a substantial number of good-paying jobs coming to southeastern Illinois. After seeing so many companies leave this state, finally we have some good news.”
Champion Laboratories, Inc. is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of automotive and heavy duty filters. The company has been in business for more than 50 years. Their filters can be found in heavy-duty trucks construction equiment, mining equiment, and marine and farm machinery.