More jobs expected at airport industrial park

More than 500 jobs could be added at the Kingman Airport and Industrial Park in the next 12 months.

Five new land sales, expansion of existing companies, new potential clients for the old Tucker plant and a diesel fuel rail transfer station have Kingman 2005 President Tom Carter excited about job growth at the industrial park.

The 74 companies in the industrial park employ about 2,000 workers currently.

Expansion already underway or committed would increase that to 2,500 by the middle of 2002, Carter said.

Interest in Kingman as a manufacturing, warehouse and distribution center has actually increased since the Sept.11 events.

The location between major western population centers with air, rail and highway transportation corridors continues to attract interest.

"We have had Las Vegas inquiries about putting up spec buildings to attract companies," Carter said.

"Unlike other industrial parks, we do not sell land until we know what company will use the facility and what they bring to the community."

One of the new companies, Interstate Trailer, has purchased land and is building a facility.

The other new company is going through the process of approval by the Airport Authority, Federal Aviation Administration and the Kingman City Council.

The name will be released when approvals are complete, Carter said.

The three companies expanding are Farner/Orr LLC, a warehouse and distribution company, Laron Engineering, a welding and fabrication company and a third company not named.

These are in addition to the expansion at American Woodmark that is underway and will add 150 employees in the spring of 2002.

Carter said the building that was occupied by Zeta Tucker, a housewares manufacturing firm, has three potential clients and could include two to four companies.

He estimated the additional companies would bring 200 to 300 jobs to Kingman.

Companies planning a diesel fuel transfer station from rail to truck with added rail facilities at the industrial park have been given the first phase approval.

They would bring 40 to 45 jobs in the beginning.

The same company plans a truck stop facility at D.W.

Ranch Road, Carter said.

Carter expects the Canamex highway, the designated trade route from Mexico to Canada, that will widen U.S.

93 to four lanes from Phoenix to Kingman and the new bridge planned over the Colorado River to have a major impact on further expansion of jobs in Kingman.

He received assurances from Gov.

Jane Hull during her Thursday visit that highway funding was not on the table for budget cuts.

The governor said the Sept.

11 events could cause the federal government to speed construction of the Hoover Dam bypass.

She commented several times on the excellent facilities at the Kingman Airport and the industrial park.

"We need international recognition of the Kingman facilities, our climate and the location within a day's truck drive of major population centers," Carter said.

"Governor Hull has seen the area and can help."

Carter stressed the need to expand jobs throughout the area and to include historic downtown in the process.

"A recent client was not impressed with Kingman and saw little housing because he had only seen downtown," Carter said.

"He was impressed with the area and the wide range of affordable housing after I gave him the full tour."

Carter and Kingman 2005 have responsibility for economic development in downtown, Hilltop and other parts of the city in addition to the Airport Industrial Park.