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.
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?"