By the looks of things inside the Watson Metal Masters plant, building stainless-steel tanks is big business -- big in the way of sheer size, and in the number of orders rolling into Watson Metal Masters.
“Our industry has been very fortunate in the last few years. Our company sales volume has over doubled in the last two years,” said Bill Schahuber, president of Watson Metal Masters.
The company builds tanks of all sizes for customers worldwide.
“Anything that goes in or on the body is made in stainless steel tanks," Schahuber said.
Things have been so good, in fact, the company says it’s had to turn away some orders. In order to handle the growth, the company has decided to move from Nixa to Republic. There, the company will construct a new, much larger facility.
“We believe that facility will help us jump to that next level,” said Schahuber.
The plant will be built in the growing industrial park on the east side of Republic, on Highway MM near James River Freeway. This land was set aside years ago as an industrial park. But, with the economic downturn, there hadn’t been a lot of construction going on. Things are definitely changing with four new projects going on right now.
“This area is poised to explode. We have been saying that for quite some time,” said Gail Noggle, Economic Development director for the City of Republic.
The town is attracting more and more industries these days. Examples include the new distribution centers for McLane, and Ashley Furniture.
“Of course, as we always say, it is all about jobs. So this is going to be additional jobs in the area. That increases our daytime population and makes us more attractive to retailers," Noggle said.
Watson Metal Masters says it’ll transfer its current 43 employees to the new place, and hire 77 more. It hopes to have 150 employees on site in the coming years.
“It is exciting. We have a lot of energy. A lot of people excited about the growth opportunities for us,” Schahuber said.
The new complex, which is set to open in mid-2014, is estimated to cost around $4.8 million. The company is receiving an economic incentive package from the State of Missouri and City of Republic. The owner of the company says those incentives, along with easy access to I-44 for trucks, were two big reasons Watson Metal Masters chose Republic.