Look out, here comes Titan.
In 1994 Pirelli Armstrong Tire Corp. decided to abandon its farm tire field by selling the Des Moines, Iowa, operation. Agricultural tires had been one of the bright spots for the former Armstrong Tire business, but Pirelli Armstrong was disinterested in the sector, and unhappy with the strike by the United Rubber Workers at the facility.
In stepped Titan Tire Corp.
Could Titan bring the labor situation under control, and move the business in the right direction? So far, the answer is ``Yes.''
While the problem with the URW hasn't been concluded-the union members returned to work without a contract, although one may be near-the company has done so well it may offer $1,000 to each employee in profit sharing for the first quarter. Now, Titan has landed two big contracts that will mean more security for the company and its staff.
Titan's winning of $110 million in contracts to provide agricultural tires to Deere & Co. and New Holland will result in the hiring of 200 more workers over the next six months. That will bring the staff level to about 1,000 eventually, operating on three shifts.
Titan is starting to show its potential.
William J. ``Bill'' Haney believed in solutions, not insoluble problems.
Friends and co-workers of the man who led Kirkhill Rubber Co. for 25 years describe him as an innovator, a leader in technology with a very close relationship with his employees. Haney, who died March 21 at the age of 87, was ``a legend in his field,'' according to one Kirkhill official.
His record confirms that belief.
Haney spent 61 years with the company, rising from shipping clerk to president and eventually chairman. He led Kirkhill to many breakthroughs in aircraft and aerospace materials and manufacturing techniques, and the company grew into a successful producer of custom rubber goods.
As a member of many civic and professional organizations, including the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society and the Rubber Manufacturers Association, Haney helped further the development of his community and chosen profession.
He'll be remembered.