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Columbus Hydraulics breaks ground on new location

November 1, 2018

Columbus Hydraulics is aiming to increase its labor force by 25 percent in preparation of its new facility being built north of West Point Implement of Columbus.

“So right now, we are pretty aggressively going out into the marketplace and presenting these opportunities,” said Mike Winn, CEO and president of Columbus Hydraulics, a hydraulic equipment supplier at 1751 12th Ave.

Winn said the company has grown tremendously throughout the years since its establishment in 1952, noting it currently has approximately 150 employees. He said he hopes to raise that number to 200 before moving into the new facility in September 2019.

The company broke ground on the $12-million project on Tuesday. The combined total includes a $2.5-million investment in new equipment and upgrades.

Winn said the project was made possible because of the boost in capital his business received from new corporate partners.

Those present during the ceremony include Columbus Hydraulics and City of Columbus officials, as well as Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce commodores.

“It’s awesome to be able to keep a manufacturing business like Columbus Hydraulics here in Columbus,” Mayor Jim Bulkley said. “The fact that they chose to stay here, I think it’s a testament to our community, our employees (and) the (residents). It’s a great company and it’s great to see them relocate to this new location to build and grow from here.”

Bulkley said the expansion reflects on the growth of Columbus’ robust manufacturing industry.

The upcoming building will be 40,000-square-feet larger than the existing facility. Because the surrounding land allows for expansion of more than 300,000 square feet, Winn said he foresees the new location becoming the company’s permanent home.

The business currently operates on two 10-hour shifts for six days. However, Winn is looking to make a change in an effort to provide more flexibility, job opportunities and increase production.

Winn said daily schedules will be split into three shifts operating 24 hours a day. He said he hopes the new schedules will help attract more people, especially those with full-time jobs who are looking to make extra dollars on the side or individuals juggling multiple responsibilities.

Ultimately, Winn said he hopes these changes will help retain the skilled workforce within the community.

To accommodate the growth, Bulkley said city officials are working toward building the local workforce to fill in these additional positions, as well as providing sufficient housing for families.

“We’ve just got a lot of good thing going on in Columbus,” he said.

After spending 66 years in the community, Winn said the company has no plans on leaving Columbus. He said the expansion is a necessary step to accommodate the growth and demand, noting Columbus Hydraulics currently supplies products to numerous companies statewide. These businesses include Sidump’r Trailer in Columbus and Rosenbauer Aerials in Fremont.

“We are a local supplier, which is always a great thing,” he said.

Because the business will be moving out of the existing leased building, Winn said the move will benefit the business economically moving forward.

“This has been a long time coming,” he said.

Natasya Ong is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at natasya.ong@lee.net.