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CANTON -- In two years, productivity has quadrupled for one local manufacturer.

Employment has increasedfivetimes.

Ambaflex makes spiral conveyors. The towering cylinders are used in plants throughout North America.

"Anywhere there are conveyer lines that need to be connected while saving space," says plant manager David Spencer.

The Holland-based company chose Canton as its first production center in North America in the fall of 2010.

When Spencer helped open the facility, Ambaflex had just three employees, constructing one spiral conveyer per week.

Today, the company has 17 employees and puts out 38 spiral conveyers a month.

They've expanded to two new warehouses and are looking at a larger main facility in the town.

"One good thing we've found in Canton -- the pool of qualified employees is very good here. We've had really good retention with the employees we have. We're hiring within the Northeast Ohio community," Spencer said.

Ambaflex is just one example of the growth of manufacturing outside the Cleveland metropolitan area.

Canton boasts a cost of living 15 percent lower than the national average. Spencer says the city leaders continue to reach out to meet the company's needs for suppliers and further help.

According to a report by Team NEO, manufacturing employment grew by 10,000 jobs, or 5 percent, in the last year.

The ICE sector -- manufacturing of instruments, controls and electronics -- is expected to grow by nearly 25 percent by 2019, according to the Team NEO report.

Spencer says the company he works for plans to stay in Canton. He sees the manufacturing growth in the area around Ambaflex, every day.

"There's more than people realize. We've found that any time we need a supplier, there's something in Canton. Somebody does it. It's just finding that company, so that's what this city's really helped us with. They've helped us find the suppliers and vendors to suit our needs, and it's really worked out for us," Spencer said.

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