Today at the Joint Economic Development Organization (JEDO) board approved an incentive agreement to aid in expansion of HME, Inc. Haas Metal Engineering, or HME, Inc., is an AISC certified, leading provider of high-quality structural steel and custom metal fabrication.
Previously referred to as “Project Spark,” this expansion is expected to produce up to 167 new full-time jobs, with an average yearly wage of $40,000, plus benefits. Capital Investment from this expansion is estimated to be $6M. The total economic impact expected in the next 10 years is $400M. The performance-based incentive for this project is up to $847,000.
“Over the next five years, we have plans to grow three additional facilities on our Button Road facility,” says Kevin Rake, CFO of HME, Inc. According to Rake, phase one of their three-phase expansion project is expected to begin at the end of 2020. Phase one will involve a heavy structural expansion to HME’s paint shop and welding facilities. “This will add an additional 36,000 square feet and will include multiple additions to equipment, such as integrated painting lines and 40 additional welding stations.” Phase two will be a 16,000 square foot expansion in manufacturing space in one of HME’s facilities that produce materials for handrails, stairs, and ladders. Phase three is the creation of an approximately 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility that will be able to produce heavy iron structural beams and columns for schools, hospitals and government-contracted projects.
“Since the beginning, we have been looking at ways to expand and hire more people in the Topeka & Shawnee County area. It’s incentive programs like these offered through JEDO and GO Topeka that allow us to continue to grow our capacity both in employees and overall revenue we can generate as a company,” said Rake.
“I’m very happy to see this expansion take place not only because of what it means for the advancement of the local metal manufacturing industry but for the tremendous opportunity it presents in terms of local jobs,” Shawnee County Commissioner Kevin Cook, JEDO chair.
“This three-phase expansion project will assure that Topeka is at the forefront of the field of steel and metal manufacturing,” said Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla. “This project not only promises state-of-the-art equipment and facilities but also 167 new and specialized jobs and a substantial economic impact over time.”
“This is a win for Topeka’s steel and metal manufacturing industry,” said Molly Howey, president of GO Topeka, an organization of the Greater Topeka Partnership. “Not only will this expansion allow HME to acquire bigger projects and create more specialized jobs, but it will also allow Topeka to step out as a front-runner in this manufacturing field.”