Manhattan-based Midwest Concrete Materials has joined a growing business community in the Salina Airport Industrial Center.
The company purchased the concrete plant at 2601 Centennial on April 9 from Builders Choice Concrete.
The Salina Airport Authority board approved a change of the land lease at the April 7 special meeting.
“Salina’s a town we’ve always had our eyes on. It fits well with our footprint along I-70, and we’re always looking to expand our business,” said Chris Eichman, vice president of Midwest Concrete Materials.
The third and fourth generations of the Eichman family are the “driving force of the organization,” said Richard Shermoen, Midwest Concrete’s chief financial officer.
The company was founded in 1927 by Henry Eichman (Chris’s great-grandfather) who started dredging sand out of the Kansas River to produce concrete in the construction of a bridge over that same river.
“It stood for more than 60 years,” Chris Eichman said.
His father, Rob Eichman, is the company president.
Midwest Concrete Materials now has plants in Salina, Abilene, Junction City, Lawrence, Perry, Atchison and two in Manhattan, where its corporate office is located.
The company’s primary businesses are ready-mix concrete manufacturing, aggregate production, local trucking, and excavation services.
The company employs 230, including 12 at the Salina plant. A 13th worker starts there May 3.
All of those previously employed by Builders Choice were re-hired by Midwest, Shermoen said, including manager Mark Blaha.
“The good people working at Builders Choice made (the purchase) attractive to us,” Chris Eichman said. “Salina is a concrete-friendly town, and there is definitely a lot going on there.”
The company is looking to add workers at its other sites as well.
“Finding qualified help is a challenge because the job market is tighter than most people realize,” he said Midwest Concrete Materials can be reached at (785) 776-8811, or toll free (800) 813-5195.
– Tim Unruh