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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

New business: Orgill hopes to open in August 2009

Thursday, July 17, 2008

(Photo)
Those attending a Wednesday afternoon news conference at City Hall applaud upon hearing the announcement that Orgill Inc. plans to build a distribution center in the Sikeston Industrial Park.
SIKESTON -- Following about 90 days of work and negotiations, the city of Sikeston announced Wednesday that Orgill Inc. will build a new distribution center in Sikeston.

"It's going to be major for this town," Sikeston Mayor Mike Marshall said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference, where he announced the new business. "The jobs are good, the pay is good."

Orgill Inc. is known as the world's largest independent distributor of home improvement products. It provides retailers across the U.S. and in more than 60 countries access to more than 65,000 products and industry-leading retail services.

(Photo)
Ed Dust, Sikeston's economic developer, points out where Orgill Inc. will be located in Sikeston's Industrial Park. The company plans to open its doors in August 2009 with about 150 employees, and the work force is expected to grow to 350. Photo by Tim Jaynes, Staff
Others echoed the mayor's enthusiasm. "We're thrilled," said Missy Marshall, the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce's executive director. "I think it's a great shot in the arm for our community."

The facility, will be built on a 70-acre site in Sikeston's Industrial Park just north of town, will be a 795,000 square-foot "Mid-America SuperCenter" and be expandable to 1 million square feet.

Construction is set to begin in August, with completion expected in one year, said Mike Marshall. When it opens, the facility will employ about 150, but the number of employees is expected to grow to approximately 350 in five years.

The mayor said some positions, such as plant managers, would relocate to the Sikeston area. But for the most part, the entire staff will be hired locally.

The total payroll will be between $10 and $12 million, he continued, and health benefits will be provided.

Under a memorandum of understanding with the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Orgill will have access to an estimated $3,241,956 in economic incentives over a period of nine years based on the new jobs created, according to a news release issued from Gov. Matt Blunt and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, serving as acting governor. That is a result of the state's Quality Jobs Act.

Orgill officials weren't on hand at the conference. However, a news release noted the new center will replace facilities currently in Vandalia, Ill., and Memphis, Tenn. Officials said the consolidation of those two centers into the new Sikeston center will allow the company to serve its customers in the Midwest and Midsouth more efficiently.

"Frankly, our facilities in Memphis and Vandalia have become insufficient and outdated," said Ron Beal, Orgill president and CEO. "This new facility will not only allow us to improve customer service, it also represents potential fuel savings of more than $1 million annually."

Beal noted the company's planning and customer research team considered Memphis and Vandalia as possible locations for the new center, but all the firm's data indicated Sikeston much better matched both Orgill's present and future distribution needs. However, Memphis will remain the company's headquarters.

"We want to say emphatically that our selection of Sikeston in no way reflects upon the high quality of employees we have at the Vandalia and Memphis distributions sites," said Beal. "They are great people and we will do all we can, in conjunction with their organized labor representatives, to help them with their transition to other opportunities."

Mike Marshall, who toured one of Orgill's distribution centers in Kilgore, Texas last week along with other city officials, also spoke highly of the workers.

"Everybody had a smile on their face," he said. "And the atmosphere is a good work atmosphere."

The official groundbreaking is expected to be some time in early August, said Dust. A luncheon, which Dust said he wants to have a large attendance.

"We want Orgill to know how much we appreciate them choosing our community," he said.

Dust also commended the city council, as well as other agencies, such as the Board of Municipal Utilities, for their teamwork and cooperation in enticing Orgill to Sikeston.

Mike Marshall said Orgill's choice reflects "what we've known here all along."

Sikeston sits in a "strategic location," he said, with the interstates and railroad track bisecting the area. It's also the halfway point between St. Louis and Memphis and a day or day and a half truck drive to most locations around the country.

The mayor also spoke of the city's power plant, which enables Sikeston to be energy independent and offer lower rates, which also entices industries.

Mike Marshall said that he hopes more companies will look into adding Sikeston facilities, for the same reasons Orgill decided to come here.

"I'm sure they'll be pleased," he said. "Some people say that Sikeston's best years are behind us, but I'm here to say that the best years are just ahead."