FABCON Precast, a Minnesota based manufacturer of precast, pre-stressed concrete wall panels, has announced it is expanding into Kansas. The new operation will be housed in Pleasanton in a plant previously occupied by IPC Inc., a subsidiary of Cretex Companies. The plant will allow FABCON to better serve its customers in the region.
This will be the company’s first expansion in 14 years and its fourth plant in the U.S. Other plants are located in Savage, Minnesota, Columbus, Ohio and Allentown, Pennsylvania. FABCON’s projects are typically located within proximity of the plants and include a range of commercial projects such as office buildings, schools, large distribution centers, retail stores, manufacturing and warehouse facilities and data centers.
“We’re excited to bring jobs and opportunity for economic growth to an area we already serve,” said Mike LeJeune, FABCON Precast president and CEO. “We are experiencing record growth so proximity to growing markets like the Kansas City area enables us to expand, bring opportunity and reinvest in our company and the community.”
FABCON supplies the wall panels for national retailers, including Walmart, Target, Gander Mountain, Cabela’s, Menards and Home Depot in addition to regional businesses such as Nebraska Furniture Mart and many others. FABCON has manufactured millions of square feet of panels for developers OPUS, Duke Realty and Prologis, including several FedEx distribution centers.
“It’s exciting that FABCON has decided to open a plant and create good jobs in Pleasanton,” Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George said. “The company’s investment in Kansas will contribute to the continued growth of our state’s strong manufacturing sector.”
FABCON will hire approximately 35-40 people including engineers and drafters, plant managers and production supervisors, quality and safety assurance staff, skilled manufacturing laborers and construction field personnel as well as administrative support. To help new employees on their career path, current FABCON employees will mentor and train new hires.
“This plant will make up about 10 percent of our business and can serve as a backup to others to keep up with customer demand,” said Jim Houtman, FABCON vice president of sales and marketing. “We are installing two production beds to produce 1.5 million square feet of product annually, and there’s room to double that as we grow.”
Houtman said customers appreciate the quality and continuity of the products they produce, as well as the design and installation services, enabling customers to make a single call for service or questions. Current customer demand is the primary reason for the expansion.
“We are delighted to convey our Pleasanton facility to such a reputable firm that is widely recognized as a leader in the industry,” said Lynn Schuler, Cretex Companies president and CEO. “Our former employees will now have the opportunity to work within the industry and within their community, providing a great fit for all parties.”
In the coming weeks, FABCON will work to add equipment to fulfill its production requirements. The building infrastructure and surrounding yard space is in good condition and will be easily adapted as the building was constructed in 2008. The company plans to have the plant fully operational by July.
About FABCONFounded in 1971, FABCON is based in Savage, Minn. and currently employs about 835 people. The company began by producing 8-foot wide concrete wall panels and floor slabs for use in apartment buildings and retail projects, but over the years, expanded in capabilities and markets served. FABCON is committed to a tradition of quality, innovation, and a readiness to seize new opportunities to serve precast concrete customers. For more information, visit www.fabcon-usa.com.