New Fulton truck manufacturing plant offers new jobs
FULTON - Fulton welcomed job opportunity Tuesday as the ribbon was cut during a ceremony celebrating Henderson Products Inc. The truck manufacturing company has six installation and distribution facilities in the northeastern and midwestern United States. That number includes the new Missouri location and many job seekers in the mid-Missouri area are hoping to get their noses under the hood at Henderson.
Henderson Products president said he is confident in the decision to expand to Fulton. He said Fulton's skill base and needs aligned with the company's needs.
"If you look at these trucks they're very complicated and sophisticated trucks. There's a lot of electronics, hydraulics, cutting and welding, very, very high skill set requirements," said Ward. "We did research in Central Missouri we found out the employment rates, the skill sets of the workforce the potential number of people in the workforce within a 45 mile radius and then looked for areas where there were existing buildings." Fulton fit the bill.
Currently Henderson's manufacturing operations are underway and thirteen Missourians work in the facility. Bruce Hackmann is the President of the Fulton Area Development Foundation and says that there are plenty of open job slots for Missourians to apply to fill. According to Hackmann, Fulton has a population of a little over 12,000 and has a larger unemployment rate at around five percent.
"The unemployment rate at Henderson's other locations are much lower and they weren't sure they could find the workers. We had over 200 people show up at the job fair we had and the majority were there to sign up with Henderson," said Hackmann. He says he believes "Fulton's demographics were "very critical to this project."
Cory Wohlers is a Fulton resident and one of the newest employees at the facility. He says he was attracted to Henderson because he sees the opportunity for workforce advancement. "I actually did some research on Henderson, their benefits are really good. They are a family oriented business, they care about their employees and they start you out a good pay," said Wohlers. "There's endless opportunities and Henderson is going to expand."
Wohlers said that it takes a team effort to build the municipal snow and ice plow trucks that will be distributed across Missouri and throughout Colorado. Just as it takes a group effort to build these trucks, MoDOT and this growing business are turning the wheels of opportunity for small town Fulton.
Below: A snow plow sits on display at the Henderson Products, Inc. opening on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Fulton, Missouri. The factory's opening was beneficial to Fulton's economy by creating more jobs in a city with an unemployment rate of about five percent. Photo: Mikala Compton.
Below: A Henderson worker welds a part of a truck on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015 in Fulton, Missouri. "If you look at these trucks they're very complicated and sophisticated trucks. There's a lot of electronics, hydraulics, cutting and welding, very, very high skill set requirements," said Henderson Product's President Marty Ward. Photo: Mikala Compton.
Below: Tools hang in the new Henderson Products Inc. factory in Fulton, Missouri, on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. The new facility is the sixth one in northeastern and Midwestern Missouri. Photo: Mikala Compton.
Below: Employees gather around Parts Specialist Carl Kilbourn at Henderson Products Inc. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Fulton, Missouri. Kilbourn's job requires him to order and organize parts and equipment that the factory needs to function daily. Photo: Mikala Compton.
Below: A Henderson worker walks toward a truck to continue to work on it in Fulton, Missouri, on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. "The unemployment rate at Hendersons' other locations are much lower and they weren't sure they could find the workers. We had over 200 people show up at the job fair we had and the majority were there to sign up with Henderson," said Bruce Hackmann, President of the Fulton Area Development Foundation. Photo: Mikala Compton.