SIKESTON -- Those involved in enticing Orgill Inc. to build its newest facility in Sikeston are rolling out all the stops and making all sorts of plans for the company's groundbreaking Friday morning. And they're asking you to join in.
"When the folks from Orgill hit the town, we want them to know we're excited about them being here," said Ed Dust, director of the city of Sikeston's Department of Economic Development. "We have a major corporation that is committed to spend $40 million in our community and put people to work, and we want them to know that we don't take things like this lightly."
So he and others involved are asking businesses and anyone with a marquee board to post messages welcoming the company to town for the groundbreaking. They're also inviting anyone interested to come out for the festivities.
Last month Orgill Inc., the largest independently-owned hardware and home improvement products distributor in the nation, announced plans to build a new warehouse and distribution center in Sikeston. The 795,000-square-foot "Mid-America SuperCenter" will be built in Sikeston's Business, Education and Technology Park, with construction set to be completed by September 2009. When the facility opens, it will employ about 150, and the number is expected to grow to about 350 within five years.
Friday's groundbreaking is set for 11 a.m. at the building site. Dust said it is just north of the Missouri Department of Transportation office, and there will be several signs to direct people.
"I think it's very important that the citizens of Sikeston and Miner show up in force for the groundbreaking because this company is investing millions of dollars in our community and will be here for many years to come," said Missy Marshall, executive director of the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce. "They are now a part of the Sikeston-Miner area and we need to welcome them like we would any other person that comes to live in Sikeston."
To give the public a chance to meet with Orgill officials, the Chamber is planning to follow the groundbreaking with a luncheon, set for 11:45 a.m. at the Clinton Building. Tickets are $10 each and seating is limited, so reservations are recommended by calling the Chamber at 471-2498.
About 60 seats remained as of Wednesday afternoon, said Marshall. She said if room is available, some tickets may be sold at the door.
Dust said top company officials, including Orgill owners, top executives and members of the board of directors plan to attend Friday. "It will be an opportunity to not only hear some of their top officials say why they are here, but those who attend the lunch will also have the opportunity to shake hands will all the top management at Orgill," he continued.
Several elected officials, as well as members of the state department of economic development will also be in attendance, Dust said.
Although not confirmed, it's possible Orgill will have a video crew present, too -- something the company typically does to document the town where its centers are, then show the footage at hardware shows. Dust said that exposure would "put Sikeston on the map."
Marshall agreed. One of the hardware shows, which will be in Chicago in two weeks, is one of the biggest in the world.
"We don't know who will be seeing that video as far as potential businesses," she said. "But they may see it and think 'If Orgill is going to Sikeston, maybe we ought to give it a look."
She, like Dust, is encouraging residents and business owners to really spruce things up.
"We want to show off the best," said Marshall. "We know how good Sikeston and Miner are, we just want to show it to everybody else."