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Manufacturer bringing 375 jobs
to Platte County

by Valerie Verkamp
Landmark assistant editor

An estimated 375 new jobs will be created in Platte County when Challenge Manufacturing moves into a recently constructed 423,000-square foot facility located on KCI Airport property.

Challenge Manufacturing Company is a Michigan-based automotive manufacturer of welded assemblies and engineered metal formed products. Their production of automotive parts will be supplied to the General Motors' Fairfax Assembly Plant.

Officials say Challenge Manufacturing is expected to bring around 375 new jobs to the area. Employees will be recruited from the Kansas City Metropolitan Community College and the Full Employment Council. The average worker will earn an annual salary of $45,000.

The facility is located on 29.369 acres at the KCI Intermodal Business Centre at 10501 NW Transcon Drive in Kansas City.

Challenge Manufacturing is making a $56 million equipment investment over the next 10 years. To assist them with the financing, the City of Kansas City is authorizing the issuance of the estimated $56 million in industrial revenue bonds for the purchase and installation of heavy equipment and machinery.

The bonds are not a debt to the city and the city is under no obligation to pay them back, said Katherine Carrttar, Kansas City Economic Development analyst. The bonds are secured with revenue received from the project. The bonds enable the city to hold title to the assets, allowing the assets to be exempted from sales and property tax for a 10-year period, she said.

The arranged deal and availability of real estate near the airport attracted Challenge to its new location. The City of Riverside and Kansas City, Kansas were also among the finalists.

Alicia Stephens, director of Platte County Economic Development Council, said attracting Challenge Manufacturing to Kansas City was a team effort between the Kansas City EDC, Platte County EDC, the Missouri Partnership, and the Kansas City Area Development Council.

“It is a great project,” said Stephens. “We are eager to see them begin hiring for some of those jobs,” said Stephens.

Councilman Scott Taylor said, “I think this will have a positive impact on the Zona Rosa Shopping District. This adds 375 new people that will need to go out for lunch and maybe dinner.”

On Wednesday, the Kansas City Council's Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee unanimously approved the project with the intent to authorize the issuance of up to $56 million in industrial revenue bonds.