A major expansion on the north side of town is set to bring 100 jobs to McPherson.

Viega LLC is breaking ground for a new manufacturing facility and also plans on bringing a master distribution facility to McPherson.

The new facility brings Viega's total manufacturing square footage in McPherson to 700,000 and is expected to bring around 100 new jobs to the area.

Expansion

Viega’s new 204,000-square-foot facility will manufacture their ProPress Copper product line. Estimated completion for the building is mid 2019.

“Due to the continued success of our ProPress product in the U.S. market, we needed additional manufacturing capacity. We’ve also been very encouraged with the quality and success we’ve had with the skilled workforce in McPherson,” wrote Robert Boots, COO of Viega, in a press release.

The Viega plant in McPherson opened in 2009. The company has expanded twice since opening adding more than 170,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space — for carbon steel press fittings in 2014 and copper fittings in 2016. 

Distribution

In addition to the new manufacturing facility, Viega is in the initial planning stages of moving its Atlanta-based master distribution center to McPherson in late 2018. The master distribution center will house its metal products and the company will also maintain a smaller, satellite distribution center in Atlanta.

The state-of-the-art distribution center will feature the latest technology and automation, as well as an upgraded warehouse management system that will provide faster product turnaround.

“Centralizing Viega’s manufacturing and distribution in McPherson is a strategic effort to prepare for the future growth and continued demand of Viega products,” Boots said. “This is all part of Viega’s commitment to continually provide the best-in-class service that our customers have come to expect.”

Viega's headquarters is in Broomfield, Colorado and has satellite distribution centers in Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania, and a training facility in New Hampshire.

Apprenticeship program

As part of the expansion, more apprenticeship opportunities will be available to students.

Launched in January 2017, Viega’s Apprenticeship Program is a collaborative effort with Hutchinson Community College. Viega is also designing a special apprenticeship training lab that gives students hands-on experience with robotics, machining and tooling, as well as a processing lab.

“This program is one strategy that we are using at Viega to respond to the labor shortage that we are experiencing across the nation,” wrote Eric Wicker, director of manufacturing at Viega, in a press release. “Our apprenticeship program lays the groundwork for building future technical talent – especially as our manufacturing facility continues to expand.”

Enrolled students receive a three-year associate degree paid in full by Viega, in addition to receiving a paid position for working in Viega’s plastics, metals, machining or maintenance divisions, and the potential to earn other employee benefits. Upon graduation from the apprenticeship program, graduates will be offered full-time positions at Viega.

Currently, two students from the inaugural class are receiving specialized training in plastics technology from Pittsburg State University, a school recognized for its Plastics Engineering Technology Program that emphasizes detailed technical knowledge, as well as real world application.

“As the Apprenticeship Program continues to evolve and gain momentum, we are pleased not only to add additional students, but also that our current students are successfully learning and progressing through the program,” Wicker said. “We’ve had positive responses from both the students and the Viega employees who work alongside them.”

For more information or to enroll in a future session, contact: Jeff Glimpse at jeff.glimpse@viega.us or 316-303-6621.

Contact Cheyenne Derksen Schroeder by email at news@mcphersonsentinel.com.