Bennington company to add jobs

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(Host) A Bennington company has doubled its employment over the past year and expects to double again in the next few months.

The growth at Plasan USA is due, in part, to the need for better armor on military vehicles in Iraq.

VPR’s Ross Sneyd reports.

(Sneyd) About 60 people worked at Vermont Composites in Bennington when it was bought by Plasan last year.

Sales coordinator Anastasia Satterthwaite says since then, Plasan has built on Vermont Composites’ business in the automotive industry.

(Satterthwaite) “We currently make the Z06 Corvette front fenders. We’re also making some parts for the new Chrysler Viper, coming up. And you’ll see some more cars coming up.”

(Sneyd) The fenders on the Corvette and other automotive products are made out of an exceptionally strong composite plastic material.

The strength and light weight of those body parts came to the attention of the American military.

And Satterthwaite says it means Plasan is about to grow again.

(Satterthwaite) “We have now opened up a new armor division, which will be an entire new building. That building alone will take on another 110 employees to start with and within a year, hopefully in a year, we should have double, about 220 employees.”

(Sneyd) Plasan says it can’t disclose the details of how its products are being used to provide armor on military vehicles.

But the company says the composites can withstand land mines, bombs and the other explosives that have been so lethal in Iraq.

For VPR News, I’m Ross Sneyd.

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