CARIBOU, Maine — Golden shovels, smiles and one elaborate construction cake all came together on Aug. 28, 2014 for a ground-breaking celebration at the Caribou branch of the Porvair Filtration Group that will add 7,000 square feet to the building, allow the manufacturer to expand its products in new markets, and eventually 15 Armco Street more jobs locally.
“I can’t give you numbers, but I think there’s no doubt once we enter these new markets, we’re going to need to add to our staff here,” said President of Porvair Filtration Group Kevin Nelson while visiting the Caribou facility last week.
Construction of the expansion began about a month ago and is slated for completion around December, and Nelson described how the new plant will allow the company to enter new markets with new products and technologies.
“It will be a showcase facility, where we can bring customers to show off our technology and our capabilities, and there’s no doubt that we’ll grow the business with this new building,” Nelson said before the August celebration.
A little over a year ago, Porvair acquired Eisenmann Metallurgical LLC in a deal worth $5.5 million and at that time, company officials announced their commitment toward growing the workforce in Caribou. Celebrating the expansion’s groundbreaking about a year later, Nelson commented on the hardworking staff in Caribou and described the very first time he entered 15 Armco Avenue about nine months ago.
“I was blown away by the amount of effort and energy that I felt in the building, and I can state as a fact that no company in Porvair puts out as much product per person or per square footage as you people in Caribou do,” Nelson told the local Caribou Porvair employees last week. “I think this (new) building is a testament to your hard work and your effort, and that’s why we’re investing in the future here,” he added. “We know that this building is going to give you a chance to grow even more.”
The Caribou facility employs nearly 40 workers, and with the additional space will come an expanded product line. Nelson didn’t want to get into specifics about the new output, but mentioned, “we’re going to be going into higher technology products and more sophisticated markets that have more demanding requirements.”
Overall, Nelson wanted to share with the greater Caribou community that Porvair is very happy with their acquisition of Eisenmann Metallurgical LLC.
“We’re proving that by investing in a new facility here and we intend to grow the business — which means more jobs,” Nelson added. “It’s good for northern Maine.”
Mark Eisenmann, who has owned Eisenmann Metallurgical with his wife, Tammy, for 10 years, is now the vice president of business development with Porvair; Mark and Tammy attended the ceremonious ground-breaking event last week.
Mark commented that he was very proud of the expansion project, and noted that Porvair has kept all its promises to the employees while growing the business. “They’re making investments that can help the company grow a lot quicker than if just my wife and I were trying to manage the business … they understand our technology and they understand the filtration field, and we couldn’t have found anyone better to work with,” he added.
While the lunch event served up plenty of thank-yous to the company’s different leaders throughout the years as well as Caribou’s city administration, the brunt of the credit for success was placed squarely on employee shoulders.
“These are very specialized products that are hardly made anywhere else in the world,” Mark told the employees. “If it wasn’t for your dedication and your support, this business probably would have moved a long time ago, so you should be very proud of what you built here and will continue to build,” he said.