Alaska biz brings 60 new jobs

Vermillion's manufacturing landscape is set to expand further by the end of the month.

That's because Builders Choice, Inc., of Anchorage, AK, is opening a commercial products division at 1212 Norbeck St.

The new plant will build modular units to serve a variety of commercial applications, from worksite housing, hotels and apartments, to office and administration facilities.

Modular construction helps expedite the construction process and control costs on commercial buildings for a wide range of businesses.

Steve Howe, executive director of the Vermillion Economic Development Company, said he's "very excited" about the news.

"When we launched the Vermillion NOW campaign, manufacturing was one of our target industries," he said. "We needed to grow our presence in manufacturing, needed to diversify the industry mix in the community and we needed to create more variety of jobs in the community, and this fits those goals to a T."

"We are excited to bring our operations to Vermillion because of the access to a large regional labor pool, its central location to our market and its high-quality transportation routes," Mark Larson, president of Builders Choice, said in a press release.

Builders Choice will be a welcome addition to Vermillion's manufacturing community, he said.

"(Builders Choice and Masaba) will be able to compliment one another – not compete with one another," Howe said. "While they're both manufacturing, they're diverse in their product offerings."

Representatives from Builders Choice are currently preparing the Vermillion facility and property for production.

"Some site work needs to be done in the rear of it, and they're putting in the equipment they need. They have a lot of overhead cranes and special equipment," Howe said.

The company plans to be fully operational by late October. Builders Choice will initially bring 30 new positions to Vermillion, and plans to add 20-30 additional jobs in the next year.

"Builders Choice is a quality addition to the Vermillion community," Gov. Dennis Daugaard said in a press release. "The new jobs are a boon for the Vermillion area and will certainly help diversify the regional and state economy."

Howe said representatives of Builders Choice had been looking to expand for some time, and were encouraged to try South Dakota by business contacts in Rapid City.

"They looked at Rapid City and Sioux Falls and just weren't able to find the combination of things that they needed to call this place home," he said. "Then they came across Vermillion. …

"It just worked out really well for them. Vermillion was the right place for them. They looked all across South Dakota, and Vermillion was the place that met their needs and they decided to call home," he said.

The company now is seeking workers with construction-related skills, including framers, roofers, carpenters, electricians and plumbers.

Workers interested in positions with Builders Choice can visit www.bcialaska.com and select the "jobs" tab to learn more about the available positions or call 1-866-522-3214.

Applications can be downloaded from the Web site or picked up at the Department of Labor Office in Vermillion, 1024 W. Cherry Street.

The company has a temporary office at the Chamber.

"Just working with them on a day-to-day basis, I think they are going to be great members of the community – not just a business providing jobs," Howe said. "I really get the sense that they're going to be very community-oriented. I know they've already engaged a lot of local contractors, too, for their upgrades to the building. They seem very, very committed to Vermillion and very appreciative of the assistance that they've received.

"I think they're going to be a very, very good corporate citizen," he said.

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