November 1, 2018 – It may have been a cold and rainy morning, but that didn’t stop more than 100 people from gathering in a open field in Eldon, MO to break ground on Quaker Windows & Doors newest plant location. Quaker CEO Kevin Blansett & QWP board members Judy Stone, Carlotta Kaesik, Mary Knoll, and Pam Knoll were joined by Missouri Governor Mike Parson, MO Dept. of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon, Eldon Mayor Larry Henderson, and Ameren Missouri President Mike Moehn as they turned over the official first shovels of dirt. They were joined by Quaker employees, 3rd generation members of the Knoll Family (QWP’s owners), and many members of the Eldon Community as excitement filled the air about the future of Quaker as part of the Eldon community.
“It is such an honor to be here and be part of this community. We look forward to the growth, not only today, but over the next ten years,” Quaker CEO, Kevin Blansett
After the official ground breaking ceremony, a reception and press conference were held at a local venue in Eldon, Warehouse 55. During this event more details and acknowledgments of the project and future ahead were given. Matt Davis, Superintendent of Eldon Public Schools spoke in depth about the future job training and educational opportunities this would bring to their community. Through Quaker and the Eldon School district, students of today would be taught and mentored to have successful careers right in their hometown after graduation. Davis also told a heart wrenching story of a local student, sharing with the audience how Quaker coming to Eldon was not only going to change the physical landscape of the community, but the financial stability of their students and population for generations to come.
“We could tell this was a company that values it’s employees. We knew Quaker was the company that could change the direction of our community for a generation. ” Superintendent Matt Davis
Missouri Governor Parson continued the discussion with a strong push for workforce development and infrastructure in Missouri. As the founder of the BuyMissouri program, the Governor noted that more than 80% of the new jobs in Missouri come from the existing businesses in Missouri. He spoke in depth about how this project was really the best combination of various entities coming together to provide a better future for the students and future workers in Missouri.
“When I think of Quaker and workforce development, and the superintendent that is here today to give our kids the opportunity to work for a company like this in Miller County, and in Eldon, Missouri, is a huge opportunity for those next generations, and that for me is what it is all about,” Governor Mike Parson
Rounding out the conference was Quaker CEO Kevin Blansett, who described the excitement that Quaker felt with this new opportunity to grow and continue serving the needs of Quaker’s customers, in Eldon, stating, “We are excited about where we are going, not only in Freeburg, but also in Eldon.”
Quaker is considered the fastest growing window and door manufacturers in the country and in 2019 will celebrate their 70th year in business. With that said, this new location will give Quaker plenty of space to grow for the future, as well as, providing workforce development and financial boosts for Eldon and surrounding communities.
Quaker Windows & Doors couldn’t be more proud to be given this opportunity, and are looking forward to growing as part of such an amazing community.