Made in the Midwest: Mitas Making More Tires

Posted at: 11/01/2012 7:48 AM
By: Ellery McCardle

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Living in the middle of farm country, there's a lot of combines and tractors and all of them need tires.

A new manufacturer in North Iowa came all the way from the Czech Republic to meet the demand.

At Mitas, making tires is their niche.

"About 2,000 tons of tires this year," said Pavel Charvat, president of Mitas' North American division.

Charvat is from the Czech Republic where Mitas was formed and created just after World War II. In April, the company opened its first plant in the U.S. in Charles City.

"Farming business is probably the most stable part of business, we need to eat," said Charvat.

That's good news for people looking for jobs in a tough economy, like Bryan Schmidt.

"Good quality jobs, we have insurance, there's room for advancement in the company," said Schmidt.

Around the world, the company makes tires of all sizes, but here ones such as a 600 pound one are made to withstand rugged farmland.

It starts in the prep room. Rubber is shipped in and workers make parts for each tire.

Then the tires actually take their shape and it all starts with a mold. It goes into curing press, which uses pressurized steam at about 350 degrees and about an hour later, the tire is complete.

Right now 150 people work at the plant in Charles City, and Charvat says so far, so good. Now he's looking for more help as he looks to expand the company's output.

"We are planning to grow in the next three, four, five, six years, depends," said Charvat.

For information on employment opportunities at Mitas, visit their website: www.mitas-tires.com