Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Foley Visits Quality Coils

Tom Foley, the Republian candidate for governor, paid a visit to a Bristol manufacturer yesterday.
Foley, along with his wife Leslie Foley, state Rep. Bill Hamzy, City Councilor Ken Cockayne and state senate candidate Jason Welch, toured Quality Coils Tuesday morning.
I like these kinds of stops by candidates because I get to meet the people who run the factory and hear what things are like for them. I also get to spend a little time with the candidate and his entourage, which is helpful.
At Quality Coils, I spoke with Mike Thiem, the plant manager and company vice president who's been around since the 1970s, and Keith Gibson, one of the three brothers who took over the company, which was founded by their dad, Archibald Gibson.
Mostly I learned from them that the biggest challenge facing the company is the uncertainty of its customers. The customers aren't ordering far in advance, so when they do want to make a purchase, they want the stuff right away. That means that if they want the business, they need trained people on staff, ready to make the products, which are all custom made. But without knowing what orders might be coming in the future, it's hard to plan. They've rehired and now have a larger payroll than when the recession started, but there's still a lot of uncertainty.
I also learned that Hamzy spent a summer working at Quality Coils a number of years ago.
I wrote about the visit for The Bristol Press. The story's online now at

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