Governor Kelly Announces $80M Private Investment Creating 50 Manufacturing Jobs in Maize

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company, the nation’s top manufacturer of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings, will build an $80 million manufacturing facility in Maize. This investment is expected to create 50 full-time jobs.

“Our laser-sharp focus on supporting businesses and investing in infrastructure continues to drive economic growth in every corner of the state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Charlotte Pipe brings a strong, family-oriented culture coupled with good-paying jobs and benefits to central Kansas. My administration looks forward to supporting the company’s success.”

Construction on Charlotte Pipe and Foundry’s Maize facility, the company’s seventh plastics plant in the United States, is expected to begin in January 2024 and be completed by early 2025. The expansion received local, county, and state government support.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to expand our operations in the Midwest,” said Hooper Hardison, CEO of Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company. “Maize is ideally located in the center of the country to help us better serve our customers. It is also a fast-growing, business-friendly community with an excellent workforce we can draw from to staff our new plant.”

The 134,000-square-foot plant will have premier access to the Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad, aiding in the company’s continued success and swift production of PVC pipes for plumbing and irrigation applications. WATCO, a single-source transportation and supply chain services company, was a pivotal partner in addressing Charlotte Pipe’s rail needs.

“Recruiting and securing expansions like Charlotte Pipe is key to our state’s economic growth,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Great jobs — like the 50 new jobs being announced today — will help attract and retain skilled workers in our state, allowing more businesses to get the job done here in Kansas.”

Evergy Inc. worked with Charlotte Pipe to develop infrastructure that will yield financial viability and long-term sustainability.

“We extend our sincere appreciation to all government entities and business partners for their due diligence and commitment to make this land purchase and subsequent facility construction a reality. Charlotte Pipe is proud to have served its customers since 1901 and we look forward to continued success in Kansas,” Hardison said.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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