New 1.25 million square-foot, union-built manufacturing facility coming to Crystal City, Mo.

Largest corporate investment in history of Jefferson County

Missouri Correspondent

THE UNION-BUILT 1.25 million-square-foot James Hardie manufacturing facility will mark the largest corporate investment in the history of Jefferson County.

Crystal City, Mo. – A new 1.25 million-square-foot manufacturing facility that will create 238 jobs is in the works for Crystal City, and it’s the largest corporate investment in the history of Jefferson County.

James Hardie, a world leader in fiber cement home siding and exterior design solutions, recently announced plans to build the new facility, which will be its largest location in the world. It will be built at the recently closed Festus Memorial Airport at 900 Airport Road.

“It’s the largest corporate investment in the history of Jefferson County, and it’s in the top 10 percent in the St. Louis Metro area,” said Todd Tracy, executive director of the Economic Development Corporation of Jefferson County.

Tracy, who has been working on the project for over a year, said it will be built using union labor. He said the company plans to break ground at the site this spring with the ultimate goal of moving product from the facility in October 2025.

“This is great news for our union brothers and sisters in the building trades because it will provide three years of solid work to them in their own backyard,” said Jefferson County Labor Club President Chuck DeMoulin. “Plus, it will create new, good-paying jobs once the building is open.”

Tracy said the company plans to bring 238 manufacturing jobs to the plant, and while those aren’t union positions, the jobs pay on average $38 an hour or around $77,000 a year.

“They have had people here planning on a daily basis and are committed to being a part of the community,” Tracy said. “Of the 238 jobs, only 12 positions will be filled by existing employees and the rest will be hired locally.”

At a recent press conference, Crystal City Mayor Mike Osher said the development will mark the city’s return to its manufacturing roots, referring to the Pittsburgh Plate Glass (PPG) factory that operated in town for decades.

“We’re a factory town that’s going to be a factory town again,” he stated. “The economic impact is going to be tremendous.”

Jefferson County Executive Dennis Gannon said the county was extremely pleased that James Hardie has announced their intention to invest and build a facility in the county.

“After months of discussions and planning with local, regional, and state officials, a true collaborative team effort, Jefferson County will now be able to welcome a new vital partner which we feel will strengthen our county and local economy on many fronts,” Gannon said during the press conference.

Gov. Mike Parson, who was on hand for the press conference, welcomed the leading manufacturer to Missouri.

“As companies see increased product demand and begin to evaluate expansion locations, we are working hard to show them why Missouri should be at the top of their shortlist,” he said.

James Hardie has manufactured building materials for more than 100 years. The new facility will be built to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for Hardie fiber cement siding, soffit and trim products.

The company employs approximately 5,200 people across the country. This is its first Missouri location, and it will be the largest James Hardie facility in the nation.

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