Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

June 9, 2011

Steelway International coming

Company to relocate headquarters, manufacturing operations to Athens

Athens — There’s a new player on the Athens business scene.  Steelway International, an El Paso-based steel truss manufacturing organization, will be relocating it’s headquarters and primary manufacturing operations to Athens.

During Wednesday’s city council meeting, Steelway President Kirk Hagler addressed the council, and said that he is looking forward to becoming part of the Athens business community.

“We are very excited about the move here to Athens.  Brian (Malone) and the entire Athens Economic Development board have done a great job in providing us with anything we could ask for to make a decision about relocating to Athens,” Hagler said.

As part of Steelway’s decision to relocate to Athens, the AEDC has offered Steelway several relocation incentives, including a moving incentive, and an equipment loan to help defer the company’s costs for relocation, and setting up the new operation.

Hagler said that because Athens is located within it’s core market area, he expects to see Steelway’s overhead costs drop with the move.

“We expect to see our inbound material costs drop, our freight costs drop, and we expect that we will be able to continue to gain market share in what has essentially become a declining construction market,” Hagler said.

Steelway officials also plan on utilizing some local talent to fill many of the positions in the new operation.

“Most of the jobs (in the Steelway facility) will be new jobs created here in Athens.  Some of our senior management, and some of our design and engineering people, will be coming here,” he said.

Based on Steelway’s projections, as many as 28 to 33 new manufacturing jobs could be added to the Athens job market.

Since 1999, Steelway has been a premier manufacturer of light-gauge steel trusses, and has serviced clients across 28 states, and has worked on a variety of international projects across Mexico and the Caribbean as well.

Steelway’s products can be commonly seen on school, hotel, hospital and military complex construction projects, just to name a few.

Hagler concluded by saying that he was hopeful that the Athens operation would be up and running by the end of this month.

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