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Ron Witters and Jeff Cottrell founded Screen Works in 1987 in a one-car garage. Today, Screen Works is located at 3970 Image Dr. Dayton, Ohio in a 60,000 sq. ft. facility. Originally, the two owners realized the need for T-shirts and event specialty items within their sport of motocross racing. A two-person staff was utilized during the day on one four-color manual press. Ron and Jeff maintained their full-time jobs while printing in the evenings. Evenings could, and often did, turn into the wee hours of morning. Screen Works’ daily output at that time was 500 shirts a day.

The first large order came in 1987 for the Kenworthy’s Pro Race Series. Screen Works was chosen to print the official event shirt. From the company’s inception, they wanted to be known as “the Event Specialists” and the Kenworthy’s race was certainly a major event in the Dayton Area. Screen Works had their start and were on their way.

In 1988, the company moved to the more spacious confines of a barn. They also bought an additional press and a larger print dryer. During the famed drought of that year, the company produced a T-shirt design for the public displaying they had survived the drought. Jeff devised a marketing plan to both sell shirts and help the community through the Ohio Farmer’s Support Program. For every tee bought, the company pledged $1.00 to the relief fund. The company not only raised more than $2500 for the fund, but also caught the attention of the local news media, which provided Screen Works with some very positive publicity.

1989 marked the beginning what long-time employees refer to as the “Valley Years”. The company took on a 2,000 sq. ft. facility on Valley St. in Dayton. It also saw the two owners leave their “day” jobs and devote themselves full-time to their growing enterprise. Later that year, the company bought their first computer system devoted to the production of print art. This was a major financial commitment and to make sure production deadlines were met and profits turning, Jeff and Ron would find themselves printing all day, late into the night, and sleeping at their new shop. But their dedication was starting to reap some benefits.

In 1990, the company doubled in size to 4,000 sq. ft. and nine full-time employees. The company purchased an eight-color automated press and a larger dryer to handle the company’s increasing volume. In July, Screen Works became the “Official Printer of the United States Air and Trade Show.” In January of 1991, the United States became involved with Operation Desert Storm. Screen Works created new designs showing support for the war. Turning to the formula used during the drought marketing campaign, Screen Works donated profits gained on the sale of these shirts to Operation Support. Operation Support was a non-profit organization created to aid families with loved ones involved in the Gulf conflict. The response from retailers and the general public was overwhelming for these shirts. The media helped promote the program with virtually non-stop coverage. The end result was over $40,000 being raised for use by people right here in the Miami Valley. In addition to being immensely proud of this achievement, Screen Works gained the respect of the community and received tremendous media coverage.

Dedicated efforts of employees permitted a gradual growth to more than 8,000 sq. ft. by the end of 1993. Screen Works was now servicing customers such as Harrah’s Casino, Merv Griffin’s Resort Casino, and many other of Atlantic City’s well known casinos. Screen Works developed a sportswear line called Grafix that sold well both nationally and internationally. Screen Works continued its steady growth from 1994 through 1996. In 1997, the company purchased a ten-color automatic press, again in an effort to keep pace with production demands. It was obvious that Screen Works needed a bigger home, and the process to find that location started in early 1998.

In November 1998, the company moved to its current address of 3970 Image Drive. The 21,000 sq. ft. location seemed immense to those who had shared Screen Works’ early years. The move from Valley St. to the new building was completed in one weekend. Due to employee and management teamwork on the move, only one day was lost in their production schedule. The company would not have had any down time if the local power company could have made the needed inspections on time. This period is looked at, by those involved, as near perfect coordination of a very large under taking. Screen Works’ work force on Nov. 1, 1998, including owners, management, and production personnel was 11 people. The stage was now set for the company to really spread their wings and soar with other well established corporations.

Currently, the company has expanded the
Image Drive facility four times to 60,000 sq. ft. Screen Works continues to purchase equipment and now boasts three fourteen-color and three ten-color automated presses. In addition, Screen Works also uses three eight-color manual presses and three dryers. Screen Works incorporated equipment to allow the capability of in-house image setting and direct to screen capabilities with three full shifts and 65 full-time employees, Screen Works has the capacity of producing up to 60,000 shirts a day. Screen Works’ latest expansion includes a complete commercial laundry division, and in December 2000, they unveiled an embroidery division.

Then came September 11th, 2001. A very sad day and time for the United States, but once again Screen Works was already looking for ways to help. Three hours after 9/11 started they had their internationally recognized "United We Stand" design! Ron and Jeff were ready and dedicated their entire Company to help those affected by the September 11th attacks. With all the Support from the community and all the GREAT VOLUNTEERS that HELPED make this possible ...WE THANK YOU! By October, Screen Works had raised enough money to donate
one million dollars to the American Red Cross, National Disaster Relief Fund.

The future appears to be bright for the company. They continue to push the envelope of print technology everyday, to give our customers the best quality and service possible. We would like to thank you, the customer for making us go the extra mile and for giving us the opportunity to serve you! God Bless all our customers and their families!

God Bless the
USA!



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