T&K Machine adding manufacturing capacity and jobs
“We are excited,” Operations Vice President Corey Campbell said. “We’re happy to have people with the city and the PEDC working with us.”
T&K plans to add 5,000 square feet to its 27,000-square-foot facility at 2220 W. Park St. The $1.56 million expansion will run west parallel to Park. The company will ask the City Council for a five-year tax abatement for the expansion this month.
T&K currently employs about 65 people, with plans to add 22 in the future. Its current facility houses about 24 machines. The expansion would mean eight more.
The new part of the building is designed to take out the far wall and expand further if needed.
“We haven’t had a major expansion in about 15 years,” Campbell said. “Our hope is things go well enough that we’ll be able to do that.”
Workers currently work just about round the clock every day.
“We’re trying to add people to these shifts we have,” Campbell said. “There aren’t very many hours we’re not open.”
The company has an in-house training program to build the skills it needs in employees — even training them while it does so.
“That’s something a lot of places don’t do,” Campbell said. “We bring them up through the system internally.”
With the economy still faltering, the aircraft industry is trending toward more efficient aircraft and engines, Campbell said.
And that means more work for suppliers like T&K Machine. The backlog for one of the company’s clients, Boeing, is at record highs for the next five or more years. Boeing makes 35 737s a month, Campbell said, and is looking for ways to get that number up into the 40s or even higher.“The need for these newer, more efficient airplanes is driven by that,” he said. “They need these plans to stay competitive.”