QUINCY — The Knapheide Manufacturing Co. has announced plans to build an additional manufacturing facility in Quincy and create 250 new jobs.
The new 188,000-square-foot manufacturing plant will be constructed over the next year near the northwest corner of 30th and Koch's Lane. It will be immediately south of the company's existing 480,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at 1848 Westphalia Strasse.
Construction of the new plant is scheduled to begin March 1, and completion is expected by Feb. 28, 2018.
The new plant is designed to handle the company's strategic initiative to grow product lines.
“We have identified opportunities for the business to diversify, both with the products we offer and the markets we serve,” Senior Vice President of Distributor and Fleet Operations Bo Knapheide said in a news release.
“This is an exciting time for the company and the community. We look forward to strengthening the company and the local economy with this expansion.”
Knapheide Manufacturing is already one of Quincy's largest employers, with about 1,200 workers currently employed at several Quincy sites, according to Brian Richards, manager of interactive marketing and communications. The company also operates 18 distribution sites across the country.
Knapheide officials anticipate the expansion will create 250 new jobs in manufacturing, installation and various support roles. The 250 number represents the total of new jobs “after it's all ramped up and good to go,” Richards said. “It could take a little while to get up to that number.”
He said the year-long construction of the building also will create “a lot of temporary construction jobs” for Quincy-area trades.
Knapheide Manufacturing is one of Quincy's oldest business. The company started in 1848 when Henry Knapheide emigrated to Quincy from Germany and started a blacksmith shop building horse-drawn wooden wagons.
Today, the company is a national leader in the manufacture of steel service truck bodies and truck beds, with the sixth generation of the Knapheide family leading the company's operations.
In a video interview, Bo Knapheide touted the company's “long history here in Quincy” and the contributions of employees who have worked for Knapheide Manufacturing over the years.
The expansion plan “really says a lot to our people and is really a testament to all they've accomplished and what we've done together in Quincy,” he said.
“We're excited to push forward here in Quincy with this new facility,” Knapheide said. “There are challenges in our state from a business perspective, but we're very encouraged by what's going on with Gov. (Bruce) Rauner and his interest toward business and Mayor Kyle Moore and all the support that he's given us.”
Harry Marcionetti, senior vice president of operations, said in a video interview that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has issued a necessary permit for construction to begin.
“It's a very exciting time for us here at Knapheide,” Marcionetti said.
He said the planned facility “will house all new manufacturing technology that's new to us, so we're excited about learning new technologies and bringing new products to market.”
Knapheide Manufacturing previously operated a plant in West Quincy, Mo. But after the devastating flood of 1993, the company temporarily shifted manufacturing operations to the former Speedrack building in Quincy. The company then formulated plans to open its current manufacturing plant on a sprawling 160-acre campus between 24th and 30th streets, from Koch's Lane north to Weiss Lane.
City, county and state economic development leaders worked together to expand the city's enterprise zone while also extending roads, sewer services and other utilities to serve that part of town.
This story has been updated since its original posting.
(Videos courtesy of Knapheide Manufacturing.)