Quaker Windows hosts groundbreaking for new Eldon facility

Quaker Window Products, Co. broke ground on a new facility in Eldon Thursday. (Kyreon Lee/KRCG 13)

Quaker Window Products, Co. broke ground on a new facility in Eldon Thursday. The new operation is expected to bring 300 jobs to Eldon.

Governor Mike Parson, Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, and Eldon city leaders were all expected to attend a groundbreaking ceremony. The Eldon High School marching band was scheduled to provide music for the event.

"The opening of this facility is a chance to promote Missouri workers," Parson said.

Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Rob Dixon said it will benefit many Missouri families.

"These are great jobs, it's going to allow folks to take care of their families, buy cars, buy houses, do all the things people want a good paying job to do and they're going to have that opportunity right here in Eldon," Dixon said.

Quaker's two campuses currently in Freeburg and Vienna house corporate offices, along with wood, vinyl, aluminum window, and door manufacturing facilities.

The company currently has more than 900 employees. Quaker purchased more than 100 acres on the west side of Eldon for the new 200,000 square foot manufacturing facility.

A number of state and local partners worked together to ensure Quaker would chose to remain and grow in Missouri. The Eldon Career Center will partner with Quaker to offer apprenticeships for high school juniors and seniors, with the goal of transitioning students into full time employment and careers with the company.

"We look at what it's going to do for our students and we know we are going to provide them the technical skills they need in school to be successful to work at Quaker or one of our other manufacturing plants," he said.

Eldon School District Superintendent, Matt Davis said the new facility will provide a better way of life in the community and for its students. Davis said nearly two-thirds of Eldon's students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

"Quaker's starting pay is $35,000 and the median income in Eldon right now is $29,000, so the starting wage at a Quaker job is better than the median income here in Eldon, so we know Quaker is a quality job, a quality place to work for our kids and it's going to be great for our community," Davis said.

Ameren Missouri was a part of the team to bring Quaker to Eldon. One of the deciding factors for Quaker to come is the economic development incentive that was passed into law. It helps companies like Quaker, that use a lot of energy, lower its energy cost.

"It's exciting for us, these are the projects we look for to help our communities," Ameren Missouri President Matt Forck said.

Quaker said they will start job training as early as spring of 2019 and the new facility is scheduled to be in operation by fall of 2019.

Thursday's groundbreaking ceremony is an invite-only event.

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