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JEDO approves expansion for three businesses

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 10:18 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Joint Economic Development Organization approved three businesses to expand their efforts to continue growing in Topeka.

More than 55 jobs will come from their approval from Haas Metal, Ernest-Spencer Metal, and Heinen Brothers Agra.

Wednesday night, JEDO approved a new investment for $15 million for HME Inc. at 2828 NW Button Road.

HME President Jon Haas said, “We have been hiring people as fast as we can find them. We’ve been expanding both HME and Topeka Foundry on a pretty rapid basis so the incentives they all help.”

Haas said every day it seems like another project is on the horizon.

“The next one is to the north of our facility. We’re filling up the old Adams Business Forms building on 2nd and Jackson really as we speak. There was actually a big machine that was delivered today and there’s another one that’s going in here in the next month,” he said. “We’re continuing as fast as we can find good people and continue to push forward.”

Heinen Brother Agra looks to grow local aviation through aircraft maintenance and storage and flight training. They’ll create 20 new jobs. The total economic impact expected is $135 million over the next ten years.

And Ernest-Spencer Metal is receiving $214,000 from Go Topeka and they’ll be celebrating 100 years of business next year.

“To preserve through all the world wars and the great depression and all that to be able to still standing is amazing and it’s really a testament to all the people. All the people who worked for Ernest over the years and we need those same people to work for us moving forward,” said CEO/Owner Neal Spencer. “That’s why we’re here today to take advantage of these incentives and go find those people that can help us grow.”

The metal company started in Topeka then moved to Meriden in Jefferson County. It leases space at 5600 SW Topeka Boulevard and has locations in Ottawa and Franklin Co.

Go Topeka is giving them the money for employment, training, material costs, and capital investment incentives with expectations of bringing 35 full-time positions over the next five years.

“By partnering with JEDO and the city, it shows that everybody’s on the same team. They all want to grow and advance and improve themselves,” said Spencer. “Ultimately, everybody’s looking for happiness for their family and success financially. It’s a great partnership together.”

JEDO also approved its 2022 proposed budget. Their total expenses before incentives and adding their small business incentives is just under $3.1 million. The 2021 budget for the same was $3.3 million, giving them a year-over-year change of -7.7%.

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