ELDON — Prolonged periods of rain and more blasting of rock than expected delayed work on the new Quaker Windows plant. However, company officials said they will be able to begin operating their new Eldon plant this spring.
In October 2018, Quaker Freeburg-based window manufacturer Quaker Window Products announced its plans 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. The new Eldon plant is expected to create 300 full-time jobs in Eldon over the next six to 10 years, company officials said in October.
Bill Sifflard, director of business development at Quaker Windows, said Thursday the walls and roof of the future Eldon plant are in place so crews are working inside the 200,000-square-foot facility, and equipment is scheduled to be delivered soon.
"We have started the hiring campaign using their Facebook site and at our QuakerCareers.com site," Sifflard said. "We're accepting applications for a variety of positions and starting to bring people in phases rather than trying to bring in 100 all at once."
Sifflard said they plan to start up product lines, and hire and train 20-30 employees at a time. Starting salaries are to be around $35,000, he said.
"We should be going live in mid- or late April, and some of that depends on when we get equipment in," Sifflard said.
Quaker plans to work with the Eldon Career Center and train interested young people in the trade. The partnership will include student internships that could possibly lead to employment.
The plant will manufacture residential and commercial window products, Sifflard said.
"We make windows that were put in for the Governor's Mansion as well as high-rise buildings," Sifflard said. "We do a lot of hotel work for chains such as Marriott and Hilton. The new Marriott going in at the old St. Mary's Hospital site will have Quaker windows."
Sifflard said they are not pulling anything out from their current facility in Freeburg. They plan to do some expansion work there, as well, with new products and technology being developed.
"We're just in phase one in Eldon," Sifflard said. "We've got 135 acres there that can be developed. When we did the land prep work for this facility, which is located along Missouri 52 at Hicky Road, we went ahead and did the site work for the rest of the land because we could put in three 200,000-foot buildings and behind that do even more expansion.
Missouri Department of Economic Development officials said the company received "chapter 100 abatement" from the city of Eldon as well as some infrastructure improvements for the project. This would make Quaker exempt from sales and property taxes.
"This year, we'll be adding 100 new jobs, but the potential for the new campus gives us the potential to bring 700-800 jobs, depending on market demands," Sifflard said.