A groundbreaking ceremony June 17 signaled a major expansion for a Marshfield industry.
Tyler Pipe, a division of Anaco-Husky, will welcome 75 new jobs with the construction of a 27,000 square foot expansion of its Marshfield plant. The project is a $4.9 million investment.
Anaco-Husky general manager Bill Kenney explained that the plant will employ a smaller footprint than the one it replaces in Corona, California, through shiftwork and automation. The California factory has 200 employees, but automation will ensure that production can be accomplished with fewer people.
"There's a huge push on by companies to automate," said Kenney, who made it clear that this is how companies can offer a competitive price while keeping jobs in the United States.
"We decided we need to make this product as efficient as possible," he said.
The products made by Taylor Pipe, which include couplings and gaskets, are stable ones, he explained — of a type that hasn't varied greatly since the Marshfield plant was established in 1970.
One thing that makes Marshfield attractive is the workforce, according to Kenney. "There's a skillset that we will want here," he said, adding, "We're not providing something that’s just a line job." Rather, he noted, jobs will require a certain amount of training and education.
In an interview after his remarks at the ceremony, Kenney explained that manufacturers must remain on their toes to survive.
"We've learned that automation is the way of the future," he said. "You're either going to be stubborn and lose products or ultimately move offshore, or you make the changes you need to remain in the U.S."
Marshfield economic director and GRO Marshfield chief executive Duane Lavery called the Tyler Pipe expansion a great first project for the economic development objectives of the new community growth plan.
"We're not going to land Elon Musk's Tesla plant," he said. "We don't have the workforce to do a 2,000-member plant. When we look at this size project, those are numbers we can handle."
Marshfield's new mayor, Natalie McNish, offered a few words prior to the groundbreaking. "Tyler Pipe’s expansion is right in line with Marshfield's Community Growth Plan to add new, high-paying jobs and expand the tax base to enhance the community infrastructure and improve the quality of life for its citizens," she said.
Additionally, Governor Mike Parson sounded an upbeat note in a news release about the expansion. "As we move forward, Missouri is already seeing signs of economic recovery," he said. "The expansion of companies like Tyler Pipe show the resilience of our economy and business community. This is great news for Marshfield and for Missouri, and we continue to be optimistic for the future."
Since its inception just after the Great Depression, the company is known for their innovation and versatility. Tyler Pipe was the first in the industry to transition from manual to mechanized production.
Since 1995, Tyler Pipe, named after its home location of Tyler, Texas, has been owned by McWane, Inc., a privately-owned global leader in water infrastructure products including pipe, valves, hydrants, fittings, plumbing products, and more. McWane has operated since 1921 and has several facilities across the globe.