Nexus Officially Opens Illinois Plant
On Oct. 16, Nexus Corp. officially opened the expansion of its manufacturing and assembly facility in Pana, Ill., with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The company broke ground on the plant expansion back in March.
Cheryl Longtin, chief executive officer, and Mike Porter, president, hosted the event before many local and state dignitaries, employees (current and retired) as well as industry and business press.
“The new facility more than doubles the footprint of our original building and will incorporate all of the latest in technological advances, Longtin said. “Both steel and aluminum greenhouses are manufactured in the Pana plant. With the expanded space and addition of equipment we will triple our production capacity in the facility over the next two years. There will be a streamlined material flow from inventory to finished product.”
The Nexus Pana plant supplies both the Nexus and National Greenhouse product line for Nexus customers in the Midwest and along the East Coast. According to Tom Ade, plant manager, prior to the expansion, the plant was 150 x 210 feet – with the new addition the facility is now 150 x 420 feet.
“We are pleased to remain and grow in Pana. The City of Pana, the Pana Industrial Development Corporation and the Christian County Economic Development Corporation have worked diligently as we have grown in Pana,” Longtin commented.
The plant expansion is a welcome addition for the region. Pana Mayor Steven Sipes thanked Nexus for choosing to continue to invest in the city of 5,800 as well as provide new jobs. National Greenhouse Company (a division of Nexus) has been in Pana since its inception in 1919.
Illinois State Representative Wayne Rosethal also was on hand and said he was very happy to see new manufacturing jobs being created in the region instead of seeing them disappear off-shore.
In acknowledging the importance of family, Porter and Longtin asked Longtin’s mother, Elizabeth “Libby” Wright and granddaughter, Grace Elizabeth Gillespie, to cut the ribbon on the new facility. Porter said, “We recognize the value of the knowledge and experience that people like my mother-in-law Libby Wright brings to our management team. She has proven to be a role model for many people in her career and to her family. We know that Nexus is also looking to the future and we will continue to grow and make changes. We know that Grace Elizabeth Gillespie, our granddaughter represents that always changing role that Nexus plays in our industry.”
Porter also praised many of the local officials for helping Nexus make the plant expansion possible. He specifically thanked John Gardner, president of the People Bank & Trust in Pana, for his efforts. According to Porter the expansion will amount to a $1 million investment. Another $1 million will be invested in the Pana facility over the next year. The building was completed on schedule and on budget.
The plant expansion was designed to make the greenhouse assembly process easier and more efficient from one end of the plant to the other said Evan Sharples, Nexus’ design and operations engineer, who was in charge of the project. Sharples also said the company has invested in new assembly equipment that maximizes the efficiency of the plant’s layout.
Craig Kaiser, Nexus vice president of operations, added the expanded facilities would provide new opportunities for the company to produce its products as it continues to expand its greenhouse product line.
Additional photos from the ribbon cutting ceremony can be seen by clicking on the boxes below.
Nexus Corp. began operation in 1967 and is headquartered in Northglenn, Colo.