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story.lead_photo.caption Quaker Windows and Doors employs around 1,000 people at its Freeburg, Mo., factory. The company announced plans Oct. 11, 2018, to add a new factory in Eldon. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

Freeburg-based window manufacturer Quaker Window Products announced plans Thursday to build a $65 million factory in Eldon.

Quaker employs about 1,000 people at its Freeburg factory, where it makes wood, vinyl and aluminum-sided windows and doors, Bill Sifflard, Quaker Windows director of marketing and communications, told the News Tribune.

The company plans to purchase more than 100 acres of land in Eldon, where it will build a 200,000-square-foot factory, according to a news release issued Thursday by the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

"This initial phase is going to be specifically manufacturing aluminum windows for the commercial market," Sifflard said.

The No. 1 goal of the expansion effort is to remain in Mid-Missouri, he added.

"We saw Eldon as a great opportunity. There is a labor pool out there in Miller County and the surrounding counties," Sifflard said.

Quaker hopes to begin construction this fall and open the factory next fall, according to the news release. Hiring will begin in the spring.

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"We are excited to not only be bringing new jobs to the region, but long-term career opportunities to the people of Eldon and surrounding communities as we grow together," Quaker Windows CEO Kevin Blansett said in the news release.

Quaker plans to invest as much as $65 million and create 300 full-time jobs in Eldon over the next six to 10 years, according to the release.

Eldon Area Chamber of Commerce officials said they are hopeful the expanded employment opportunities will encourage more people to do business in the community and local youth will stay in the area to raise families.

"We did not have an abundance of employment opportunities in our small town," said Eldon Chamber President Willard Haley. "This is an opportunity with an excellent company that (youth) may be able to stay closer to home."

The company plans to work with the Eldon Career Center to train interested high school students, preparing them for the workforce, Haley said.

"We love it when homegrown Missouri businesses choose to continue growing in our state," Gov. Mike Parson said in the news release.

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe said the state won big by keeping Quaker close to its home in Mid-Missouri.

"I am certain they were heavily recruited to expand in other states," Kehoe said in the release. "Quaker is a fantastic corporate citizen, and I am pleased that they have chosen to continue to grow their product lines in Central Missouri using Central Missouri employees."

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