During the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday morning for the manufacturing plant, Ferguson said, “This is an opportunity to pay forward.” He added, “I’m here by choice.”
Ferguson left Plymouth 38 years ago, but has never forgotten what the community has to offer. As he was making decisions concerning the location to manufacture a line of 4-bedroom lodge homes, one of the considerations was to expand the work force and hours of his 100,000 square foot plant in Central City, NE. However, due to the efforts of realtor Jody Kriscunas and others in Plymouth, he made the choice to begin manufacturing in the Shamrock Homes plant on Markey Road.
Ferguson said, “Stone Creek, in this first project, is building workforce housing for the oil and gas drilling industry.” He attributes the company’s success to their unique product design and found niche in the energy industry.
Stone Creek currently has approximately 35 employees, but projects that the number could increase to 75 employees in the future. Ferguson said they had some 600 applications for jobs at the facility. He said, “The only people today creating jobs is private industry.”
Ferguson also attributes the success of his business to the employees. He said, “It isn’t about capital, technology, or assets and certainly not the management. It’s the folks on the ground. That is why we are here.” In the official ribbon cutting ceremony pictures, Ferguson asked all of the employees to stand in front of the first unit to be completed at the facility. He said, “Our people are our most valued asset.”
The unit, labeled 2011-08-1001, is scheduled to leave the plant and be delivered to the fields in North Dakota this week. The unit is 76 feet long and has kitchens, bathrooms, sleeping accommodations, and a washer and dryer.
Serving Stone Creek Homes as the operations manger is Dan Flynn. Flynn and his family were the owners of Shamrock Homes. Ferguson spoke highly of the contributions that Shamrock had made to the community for 42 years. Ferguson said, “They had an annual payroll of $1 million and that means a $42 million contribution to the community plus adding to the tax base.”
Materials that were left from the Shamrock Homes plant operation when they closed their doors earlier this year were donated to Habitat for Humanity. Steve Guriel , Habitat volunteer, said they had sales of $21,000 this week at the Habitat Resale Store thanks to the donation. He said, “We are very grateful.”
Also speaking at the Grand Opening was Sheral Anderson, senior case manager for Congressman Joe Donnelly in Second District. Anderson indicated that she was impressed with the quality and look of the units. She said, “I’m ready to pack my bags and move in.” She said Donnelly was unable to be at the event, but was very excited about the new jobs for the community.
Russell Yancey, Patrick Distributors representative, said, “Years ago we did not have the kind of engineering we’re seeing today.” He added, “They are engineered to insure long, sustainable housing. They are structurally sound and look good.”
Carol Anders Correspondent