BAXTER SPRINGS - A release issued by the Kansas Department of Commerce Tuesday morning has some promising potential for the area's industrial landscape. Flow International Corporation, a Shape Technologies Group (SHAPE) company, announced on April 10 that it is relocating its manufacturing and operations functions from Kent, Washington, to its KMT Waterjet plant in Baxter Springs. The KMT Waterjet plan will be rebranded as a Shape Technologies Group site.
Flow International, which manufactures pumps and waterjet cutting products for various industries, cited the cost of doing business in Kansas as one of the primary reasons for its decision. The company anticipates the lower costs will enable the company to improve its competitive position in its marketplace. The company also has many years of successful experience doing business in Kansas, which helped facilitate the continued growth in jobs and capital investment in the KMT Waterjet plant.
“Kansas welcomes SHAPE’s decision to expand its presence in Kansas, and they join our growing manufacturing sector recognizing the benefits of the much lower cost of doing business in our state,” said Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. “We are excited to partner with SHAPE and wish them and their employees much success here in Kansas.”
SHAPE worked closely with the Kansas Department of Commerce and Cherokee County Economic Development Corporation on this expansion.
“KMT Waterjet has long been a leading employer in Baxter Springs, and we are excited for their continued growth as the Shape Technologies leading manufacturing facility and the additional skilled, well-paying jobs they will create," said Janet Miller, Director of the Cherokee County Economic Development Corporation.
SHAPE plans to relocate or create 145 jobs over the next five years, with an average annual wage of $39,000. The company will also invest over $9.7 million in the KMT Waterjet plant expansion.
“Our Baxter Springs plant has always played a critical role in our business, and expanding our current operations will help us better serve our customers,” said David Savage, CEO of SHAPE. “We thank Governor Colyer for keeping Kansas business friendly and helping make our expansion a reality.”