EFCO Corporation President Mike Farquhar updated members of the Monett Kiwanis Club on the local manufacturer's current business outlook at a recent Kiwanis meeting.
EFCO, which became a Pella company in 2007, presently employs 1,500 people. Farquhar said the present workforce represents about 100 temporary workers added for peak production periods.
EFCO formed in 1951 and moved to Monett in 1958. The company is the largest producer of storefronts in the United States and also makes windows, doors and curtain walls.
In addition to its manufacturing plants in Monett, EFCO has a service centers in Las Vegas, Nev., and will shortly open one in Springfield. Farquhar said 20 jobs focusing on storefront will be added in Springfield. As business picks up, other staff who deal in storefronts may be relocated from the Monett administrative office to Springfield. EFCO also has five distribution centers.
Although the economy has performed poorly in the past year, Farquhar said EFCO has continued to do well. Construction of schools and universities, military bases, sports arenas, hospitals and high rise residential facilities have maintained a strong demand for curtain walls and other EFCO products. Schools and universities using bond issues have managed to spur construction at a time when credit has been tight.
Many of EFCO's competitors have laid off employees or closed plants. EFCO's workforce has remained steady, Farquhar said.
Farquhar said EFCO has continued to provide full service to its customers. EFCO has increased its sales force by 50 percent in the last two years and has been rewarded by picking up business from its competitors.
EFCO has long maintained its commitment to "green" technologies. Farquhar said EFCO products have helped customers save energy. EFCO has been in the forefront of energy efficient technologies. A Green Circle shopping center on Republic Road in Springfield, for example, used EFCO products in becoming the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum retail space in the U.S.
Both glass and aluminum, the major ingredients in EFCO products, are easily recycled, leaving a low impact on the environment from industrial production, Farquhar added.
EFCO has fit in well as a Pella Corporation company. Pella primarily makes residential products and is mainly based in the Midwest, having plants in Iowa, Illinois and Ohio, plus others in Oregon, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Pella is the second largest window manufacturer, Farquhar said, and remains a family-owned company.
EFCO has maintained its commitment to helping the community, a value strongly held by Pella, Farquhar said. EFCO has donated $150,000 toward the new Monett Library and $250,000 to the new Monett YMCA, following its previous $500,000 donation toward major upgrading at Cox Monett Hospital.
Farquhar said next fall may prove more challenging for EFCO as the backload of products is drying up. Nationally, the industry has become very competitive in its pricing. Farquhar said he wanted to continue growing EFCO's market share and keeping as many jobs as possible in Monett.
Kiwanis President Randy Henderson presided at the meeting. Frank Washburn was the program chairman.
The Monett Kiwanis Club meets at noon on Tuesdays for a meal and a program, usually at Happy House restaurant.