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New owners of Iola manufacturing facility hope to create... - KOAM TV 7

New owners of Iola manufacturing facility hope to create more than 100 jobs

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NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY CATALYST ARTIFICIAL LIFT, LLC:

Catalyst Artificial Lift Announces Purchase of Former Haldex Facility
Downhole Pump Operation To Bring 120 Jobs to Allen County

(IOLA, KAN.) Catalyst Artificial Lift, LLC, a Gainesville, Texas-based manufacturer and wholesaler of oilfield reciprocating rod pumps, announced today the purchase of a 150,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Iola, Kan. The expansion of Catalyst's Kansas operations will allow the company to expand from 22 existing positions in Allen County to 120 total employees over the next five years. 

Catalyst's expansion project is the largest job announcement in Allen County since Russell Stover announced construction of a new plant in Iola in 1994. This expansion will return manufacturing to the Haldex facility, which was closed in early 2011 after its operations were relocated to Monterrey, Mexico, putting 160 people out of work. Gates Corporation, which has leased a portion of this facility for the past 18 months, will continue as a tenant. 

"Catalyst is very excited to move its manufacturing operations into significantly a larger space in Iola. This will enable Catalyst to increase production of its existing downhole pump products and expand its downhole pump product offering" said Bruce Jendusa, Catalyst Artificial Lift's President. "Catalyst feels fortunate for the skilled labor pool to draw from in Iola, and looks forward to becoming a good neighbor in the community. This expansion is a cornerstone to Catalyst being able to grow its business and Catalyst would like to thank the Department of Commerce and local partners for its assistance with Catalyst's expansion project." 

"It's great to see a Kansas manufacturer achieve the success that Catalyst Artificial Lift has," Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George said. "The company's expansion will create a lot of new jobs in Allen County, and I'm excited that Kansas has a business environment that supports such significant growth." 

The State of Kansas, City of Iola, Allen County and Iola Industries, a local economic development corporation, all partnered to provide an incentives package to Catalyst that was key to its expansion decision. The local partners' incentives package includes in-kind labor to upgrade electrical and plumbing systems, plus $30,000 in direct financial assistance toward additional facility improvements needed to accommodate Catalyst's operations. 

Local leaders hailed the announcement as another sign of progress in Allen County and the Southeast Kansas region. "Iola is thrilled to have been selected for Catalyst's expansion project," said Iola Mayor Joel Wicoff. "Catalyst is a top-notch company, and Iola is a top-notch community. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with them." 

Allen County Commission chairman Dick Works noted the importance of partnership. "Our state and local partners have worked seamlessly to make this deal a reality. The Kansas Department of Commerce, city of Iola and Iola Industries have all been excellent partners in this recruitment effort, and we are very proud to see this project come to our county." 

Chairman Works' comments were echoed by C.J. Evans with Merit Advisors, Catalyst's economic development consultant, saying 'that the ability of the Department of Commerce, Thrive Allen County, Iola Industries, Allen County, and the City of Iola to work together with Catalyst to develop solutions to Catalyst's specific needs for this expansion project are a testament to their partnership and desire to foster business growth in the region." 

Iola Industries President John McRae noted that "This exciting announcement shows that we can successfully adapt as a community to changing situations. The economic landscape is different, but Iola Industries' ability to work with local partners to make deals happen is stronger than ever." 

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