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Denver-based industrial manufacturer plans expansion of its Iola - KOAM TV 7

Denver-based industrial manufacturer plans expansion of its Iola facility

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The Gates Corporation has operated a facility in Iola, kansas for 40 years.  A global maker of industrial products, the Denver-based company employs nearly 700 people at its southeast Kansas plant. Now, the company is expanding, adding additional space and jobs.

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Within the Gates' walls, there is a great deal of  history.

"We are on the cusp of giving out some 40 year employment awards within just our facility alone."

Scott Strycker says during those years, there has been change.

"I think this plant has been up and down a little bit, and right now what you see with our new owners, the Blackstone Group, the Gates family is growing."

The company has approved plans to build an 82,000 square foot expansion at its Iola facility.

"We are investing $20 million plus into this facility alone," said Strycker.

The addition will be a continuation of the current building, which stands now just shy of 500,000 square feet and it will start at the northwest end of the building.

"We will be adding a facility that will be for the state-of-the-art equipment for the oil and gas product that we build, said Strycker. "And it will include our 16c product, which is revolutionary in the oil and gas industry. We'll be able to make lengths of product up to 200 feet long." 

City Administrator Carl Slaugh says Gates has been a stable contributor to the community.

"They are one of our biggest utility users." said Slaugh. "They represent thirteen percent of our total utility usage. So, it's a good relationship and so we're glad that they are expanding, solidifying those jobs."

And creating news ones. Both Gates Corporation and the Kansas Department of Commerce say the expansion will result in 25 to 35 new jobs.  

The company plans to begin construction as early as this spring.  

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