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Salary Competition Dictated Relocation : TMI Moving to Oceanside, May Hire 200 Employees

November 11, 1986|GREG JOHNSON | Times Staff Writer

As many as 200 jobs could be created early next year when TMI Inc., an El Segundo-based computer hardware manufacturing company, relocates its engineering and manufacturing operations to Oceanside.

TMI Inc., a subsidiary of New York City-based Nytronics Inc., on Monday said it had signed a five-year lease in Oceanside's Rancho Del Oro Technology Park. The privately held company, which now has 224 employees, last year reported $15 million in revenues.

Although many current TMI employees are expected to move to Oceanside, the company will hire at least 100 and as many as 200 clerical, assembly, engineering and management employees, according to TMI President Ron Saia.

TMI, which specializes in the production and assembly of precision parts for the computer and aerospace industries, decided to move to San Diego County because "salary levels are more realistic for a company of our size," Saia said. "We can't compete with the large aerospace companies."

The company, which was formed 30 years ago in Los Angeles, anticipates "an annual (revenue) growth of about 13% to 15% over the next five years," Saia said.

TMI, whose largest customer is IBM, will begin operations with one shift and hopes to add a second shift. TMI will close the first of its two El Segundo plants in February. Production at a second, larger plant will be moved by the end of March.

TMI decided to move to San Diego because "we can't go head-to-head with the Rockwells and General Dynamics when it comes to salaries," Saia said. "We've had a real tough time trying to keep skilled help. After five or six months with us they'd go down the street and get $5 to $7 more an hour. It's been a constant battle for us during the past five to seven years, and we just couldn't compete anymore."

"We initially looked at Carlsbad, but due to the economics of the package offered to us in Oceanside, we decided to go there," said Saia, who credited Oceanside officials with doing an "outstanding job of selling their city to us."

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