Not OT - Ultimate Woodworking

We live in SE Kansas about 200 miles from the geographical center of the US. The closest coastal area is the gulf coast about 900 miles to the south. This company is steadily becoming the largest employer for our town of 800.
http://www.westhoffco.com /
It is owned and operated by two brothers from a local family. Both graduated from the wood technology program and Pittsburg State University (Kansas, about 30 miles east) several years ago. One of the brothers worked for the founder of this yacht interior outfitter and eventually bought him out. The original company used to subcontract work to specialty shops around the country. They figured out, about 10 years ago, that they could build a facility in their home town, centralize management and production, and take advantage of local cost of living standards. That doesn't mean they skimp on talent. They attract specialty craftsmen from across the nation with good wages, a rural atmosphere and a strong school system that they actively support. They also recruit fairly heavily from the Pitt State technology programs.
They travel the world working with yacht manufacturers; and they attend trade shows across the US, Europe and South America. They can always count on at least one person looking at their display and saying "Now where is it that you say you are from?"
RonB
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wrote:

Super stuff, Ron. I'm sure the pics don't do the wood justice. That's a sweet little rowboat, too.
Where's the nearest river to float those toys, eh? It doesn't look like a drive-thru location, all landlocked like that.

I'll bet they attract superb craftsmen!

"East BF. Why do you ask?"
-- The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings. -- Okakura Kakuzo
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wrote:

navigable once it gets into Oklahoma but not here.
They are pretty high tech. They get the yacht manufacturers plans and contours digitally and "build" a mock-up of the areas of the boat they must match inside of the factory. Then they build the components and interior to match the mock-up. Much of the manufacturing is NC from CAD data. Their finishing is extraordinary, but then they have fussy customers. When an interior is finished they load it on shipping containers and it is sent to its destination. They provide on-site management and tech support at destination.
They are a class act all around. When a young local fellow recently got cancer, the town had a benefit dinner and auction. They built a portable bar to the same standards as one of their interiors. Imported veneers, top-quality hardware and stocked with the best drinking stuff. It auctioned to an area doctor for about $7,000. I asked one of their guys if they were pleased with the auction price and he smiled and said it was about where they thought it would be. It more than covered materials.
They still maintain a corporate presence two hours north in Lenexa (KC area) but we are lucky to have all of their planning and operations here.
RonB
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wrote:

It looked a veritable crick on the map, it did.

Hi-tech all the way. Cool.

Cha Ching! (Now watch that same doctor make back his price operating on/treating the guy. ;)

Oh, I missed something. Where's "here"? I thought you were talking about Lenexa when I read "westhoffco" and "our town" there, pard.
-- The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings. -- Okakura Kakuzo
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Oooh that looks fun. Not long ago I turned down a job with Belkov Yachts, which does similar work, mostly for sportfishing boats. I stayed put for a woman. Turns out I made a bad choice. (Both ways!) JP ************* <sigh>
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Yes. Compared to the KC metro area we are a click on the map.... and its great! 800 fine citizens in one of the oldest communities in the state. Kansas is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. We celebrated in 1997. RonB
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I used to live in Shawnee KS, just beside Lenexa. I drove by frequently on my way to OK. It's a small town. Once I make a stopover, walked around the city and at the antique’s shop which I love to browse around. Yea, KS is indeed a good place to live. I still love KS and been thinking of moving back. It’s the tornado my wife is afraid of and we had a few near missed.

Missouri and and 45 miles from Oklahoma. The company still has its original corporate headquarters in Lenexa, a Kansas City suburb about 2 hours north. They have their manufacturing operations here which includes factory, planning, assembly andshipping.

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Kansas takes a lot of bad-mouthing. I suspect much of it from people who have never been here; or did a fast pass on I-70 or I-35. Even that is weird because either interstate gives you an excellent cross- section of the state. It is a beautiful place and a great place to live.
An investment rep that serves some folks in our town told us "there is just something different about St. Paul folks. I think they have retained some of the pioneering confidence that they can succeed." We were one of the gateways to the west during the mid 19th century.
RonB
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I always liked the kansas tents in the old days. Now they are made from synthetics and they seem much cheaper in quality.
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"RonB" wrote in message
Kansas takes a lot of bad-mouthing. I suspect much of it from people who have never been here; or did a fast pass on I-70 or I-35. Even that is weird because either interstate gives you an excellent cross- section of the state. It is a beautiful place and a great place to live.
An investment rep that serves some folks in our town told us "there is just something different about St. Paul folks. I think they have retained some of the pioneering confidence that they can succeed." We were one of the gateways to the west during the mid 19th century.
RonB
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On 3/4/2011 1:39 PM, RonB wrote: ...

Mom grew up along the Neosho just upstream from you'se guys a piece...
If you think you're landlocked there, come out here to the other corner (either, actually, but we're on the same latitude edge as your). :)
--
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"RonB" wrote in message

Cool, and they learned their craft at a public college and are smart enough to take an interest in local public schools to attract qualified craftsmen--what a refreshing story.
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