DENISON, TX -- Eslin is ramping up production of their insulation products after finally clearing a government hurdle that was costing them thousands of dollars.
Company executives have been trying for 10 months to bring to America the employee who developed their machines. The South Korean citizen, JJ Kwon, was rejected six times for a work visa.
But last week their request was finally granted. And on Thursday JJ was buzzing around the production floor in full swing.
"I think you're seeing some smiles around here now that we have JJ, so yeah, things are looking up," said company vice president Ross Rolirad.
JJ is employed by Eslin's sister company overseas.
Chang Jang, Eslin president and CEO, said the plan all along was to bring JJ over when they opened shop in April to set up the machines and teach workers how to use them.
"All these machines are developed by him. And these are very unique machines," Jang said. "We re-submitted whatever they requested. And it didn't work, it just kept going. And it took about 10 months to get him finally over here."
JJ said it was a frustrating process to go through.
"To finally come here to help the guys out," he said.
Rolirad said while working to bring JJ to America they ordered two new machines. It took them a month to get the first machine up and running.
"[Yesterday] JJ was able to get the other one up and running in about 6 hours," he said.
Now that JJ is here, they plan to quadruple operations in the next six months, Rolirad said.
"We've been selling everything we can make, we just have to build up our productivity if we're gonna get ourselves into the black," he said.
JJ has a one-year work visa that allows him to travel between the U.S. and South Korea as needed.