A Georgia-based steel company is preparing to build a fabrication plant in the Idaho Falls area that will add up to 175 new jobs. Cives Steel Company says it will be its first plant west of the Mississippi.
Cives Executive Vice President John Donovan said after nearly three years of scouting out locations in the Northwest and Southwest, they settled on Idaho Falls in large part because of the local work force and its reputation.
Cives Steel Company creates steel that supports the Hearst building in New York City and Red Sox training field in Fort Myers.
"I'd call it 'construction steel,'" said Donovan. "It's steel that's ready to go up when it gets to a job site."
Donovan said the new plant will most likely go up on Yellowstone Highway near the Ucon city limit. He said it will also bring 150 to 175 new jobs.
"Up front, to get started, the number will be more like 75," said Donovan.
"In this type of industry ... metal manufacturing, fabrication shops ... for every 100 jobs created, we create another 60 to 70 secondary jobs," said Will Jenson, an Idaho Falls-based regional economist with the Idaho Department of Labor.
Jenson said the project could bolster jobs in the still-recovering construction industry. Long-term, he said, it may help lower the unemployment rate by as much as four tenths of a percentage point, and raise wages.
"Bringing in more employers will bring those wage rates up and that's a good thing."
Donovan said Cives is hoping to have land and permit approvals by mid-September, lay foundation by mid-October, and if the weather cooperates, fabricate the first piece of steel before the new year.
"This is going to be our best plant," said Donovan. "We're all convinced of that. We really think highly of the possibilities."
Grow Idaho Falls CEO Linda Martin said she was approached by Cives for research and help finding a location to build. She said the company will offer good-paying, long-term jobs.
Cives Steel Company operates six fabrication plants on the eastern half of the United States.