Off East U.S. Highway 30, this process is currently happening as Baldwin Filters prepares to complete their two-year, $40 million dollar expansion. According to the Kearney Hub, the company broke ground in 2013 with Sampson Construction, a quality firm with offices in Omaha, Lincoln, and Kearney. Those from Kearney might know project manager Wayne Gallaway, project superintendent Ken Almquist, and assistant project superintendent Brayden Kohtz, all Kearney locals assisting on the project.
This type of investment in a larger space is always seen as a positive economic indicator. For example, in 2013 Ford completed their largest manufacturing facility expansion in fifty years, and it gave hope to manufacturers everywhere that the negative downswing in the economy could be concluding. Or, when Seth McGinn expanded his manufacturing facility in Fremont with a 10,000 square foot addition after his CanCooker took off. Even when companies like BMW expand their manufacturing plants in places as far away as Nebraska, it’s an important sign that jobs will be created and hopefully, exports will increase. Thus, seeing this type of massive expansion in Kearney is a very positive indication of economic success in the rest of the city as well.
If you’re not familiar with the manufacturer, Baldwin Filters originally moved to Kearney in 1953 to take advantage of the central location, initially working out of a 24,000 square foot building with nine employees. In their first year, they grew to 26 people and occupied three buildings, and have continued to grow ever since. Today, the company produces more than 6,000 lube, air, fuel, hydraulic, coolant, and transmission filtration products and ships its 19,000 individual products to dozens of countries. With the new plant, Baldwin will expand from the 1,150 current employees (there are more than 2,500 employees worldwide) to add an additional hundred workers to the Kearney workforce. This is partly necessary thanks to a lucrative contract signed last fall with CarQuest to manufacture its heavy-duty car filters.
Essentially, Baldwin is an integral part of Kearney commercial history, and at the groundbreaking for the new facility, Mayor Stan Clouse praised the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce for working closely with Baldwin on the project: “It’s a huge investment in Kearney,” Clouse said. “I know Baldwin will be here for a long time and that our partnership will continue to grow.”
To learn more about specifics of the new plant, check out this article from the Kearney Hub, here. Additionally, those interested in careers in the filtration industry may want to learn more about opportunities available on the Baldwin Careers page! Questions? Comments? Want to learn more? Leave a comment in the section below anytime!
photo credit: Baldwin Filters brochure