Local company hurting from governmental 'red tape'

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

DENISON, TX -- At Eslin, they've reached the end of their rope.

"We can't make any money, we can't make this a going concern, if we take half an hour or an hour to produce one pipe covered product."

The problem - they're missing the only man in the world who knows how to work their machines.

Vice President Dan Plaskett said the State Department rejected four requests for a work visa for Jangjun Kwon - or JJ. He's a South Korean citizen who helped start up Eslin.

"We knew that he was gonna be here for probably close to six months. So rather than bringing him over on a tourist visa and doing this underhanded, we did the right thing," Plaskett said.

The technology is adapted from their South Korean sister company where JJ works.

They want to bring in him over to train their employees. But the US consulate rejected the request due to lack of experience.

"There's nobody else we could hire to do this," Plaskett said.

Vice President Ross Rolirad said they Skype daily with JJ, which is difficult because of the time difference.

But he says even that's not the same.

"JJ could be here watching them do the machine and say 'whoa, do it here, no you don't want to do that, here's the way you want to do it. We don't have that level of expertise now," he said.

He estimates it's cost them around $30,000 in raw materials from manufacturing mistakes. Mistakes they say wouldn't have happened if they had JJ on site.

Plaskett said city officials, Rep. Ralph Hall and US Sen. John Cornyn are all helping. But so far, in vain.

"We need [JJ], we want to open this factory, we want to get it up and operating. And we're gonna do whatever it takes it get him here," Plaskett said.

The company says they want to branch out as a global corporation headquartered in Denison. But now, they're re-thinking that decision.

Plaskett said the state department won't give them a specific reason for the multiple rejections. He sent another letter on Friday.

Plaskett said there's nothing to do now but wait.


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