AP Green Reopens as Mid America Brick
AP Green produced bricks in Mexico from 1910 to 2002. The factory has been sitting silent for the last eight years. Frank Cordie began the efforts to restart the factory three years ago.
Cordie and his supporters secured half of the renovation's $21.9 million through grants, tax credits, and loans.
"We're showing the rest of the country that rural America is alive and well," said Cordie, Mid America Brick's president and CEO.
Anna Marie Alderson's late husband Joe worked for AP Green for 42 years. She says he would be thrilled to know that the plant will start production again at the beginning of 2011. She credits the mutual loyalty between her husband and AP Green for their lifestyle.
"Everything we own, everything we had came from this acreage of the AP Green plant," said Alderson.
Cordie and Alderson both say the community played a large part in bringing back the brick factory.
"The town has banded together to bring it into existence," said Alderson. "It's just wonderful."
AP Green's bricks were shipped all over the United States. Alderson's husband was a lift truck operator and she says he knew where all the bricks he loaded went. He felt especially proud to be a part of the factory when the bricks went to aid the World War II efforts.
Mid America Brick plans on starting on a smaller scale. It will hire about 80 people by the end of the year and produce face bricks for residential and commercial construction. Several politicans who helped get financial support were at the ceremony.
"It'll offer lower freight costs, shorter freight routes to other midwest destinations, which should keep construction costs down for a struggling home building industry," said Sen. Kit Bond, R-Missouri. "But it will also provide high quality products that will keep buyers coming back."
"I want to see it grow and hire many men who have lost their jobs in this area," said Alderson.