Growing Yankton’s Manufacturing Base
Monday, February 19, 2018
The outlook for manufacturers in the new year is positive. A recent survey by the National Association of Manufacturers found that companies are very optimistic about growth opportunities in 2018. Nearly 58 percent of those surveyed said pending business tax reforms may encourage business expansion.
Yankton, South Dakota has a strong manufacturing base that continues to grow. Parker Hannifin, maker of Baldwin Filters, in the process of relocating five new manufacturing lines to its Yankton facility, which will significantly increase the plant’s volume of output.
“Global demand for our filtration products remains strong,” says Plant Manager Shawn Brock. “The addition of these manufacturing lines will increase scale in our facility and will ensure higher quality and shorter lead times for customers through the increased deployment of lean manufacturing principles.”
This isn’t the first expansion for the company. In 2012, a 110,000 square foot addition to the plant significantly increased its local footprint. Parker has become one of Yankton’s leading employers, with 200 employees.
This new expansion represents a great opportunity for workers in the Yankton area. Over the next six months, Parker will be expanding its local workforce by 50 percent, adding a range of jobs across a large spectrum of skill levels, from entry level positions to machine operators and more.
Brock notes these are especially good job opportunities for those who have a desire to work with machines and technology. The company promotes a team environment that emphasizes continuous improvement and rewards work well done.
Baldwin Filters began in Wisconsin in 1936 with one man’s idea for improving automobile oil filtration. Over the years, it expanded its manufacturing operations to include far-off locations like China and South Africa. Today, Baldwin Filtration branded products are distributed across six continents.
Baldwin Filters was acquired by CLARCOR Inc. in 1981, and the Yankton production facility began manufacturing in 1995.
Recently acquired by Parker Hannifin Corporation, the Yankton production facility manufactures a full range of air, fuel and hydraulic filters for use in a variety of engines, from tractors to over-the-road trucks.
Yankton County’s manufacturing employment rate is more than twice the national average. Companies such as Parker Hannifin have chosen to operate in the area, in part, because of its exceptional workforce.
It’s a testament to Yankton and its workforce that Parker Hannifin decided to expand here; the company could have chosen any number of other locations.
“This is a tremendous investment in the Yankton plant and the community. It shows the company’s confidence in the local workforce and its technical abilities and infrastructure,” says Brock.