Fabrik Industries completes expansion in McHenry

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Fabrik Industries, a 35-year-old McHenry County company, has completed its expansion in the city of McHenry with the purchase of a second facility at Miller Parkway.

The facility is now operational, according to a news release from the McHenry County Economic Development Corp.

Fabrik hosted a celebration and tour of the new facility Thursday for representatives from the state of Illinois, city of McHenry, McHenry County Board, McHenry County Economic Development Corporation, McHenry School District 156, McHenry Township Fire Protection District, McHenry County College and businesses who helped in the facilities transformation.

“We are excited about the opportunities in manufacturing locally,” Keith Wagner, president of Fabrik Industries, said in the news release. “The community’s involvement in our growth has been humbling. The company took 2016 to breathe new life into a vacant building, updating and installing new lighting and paint, investing in new molding machines and training of new employees to meet the increased manufacturing demand.”

In 2015, Fabrik’s leadership identified the need to expand operations based on continued increase in its manufacturing business.

The company analyzed expansion opportunities both outside of Illinois and in Illinois, specifically McHenry. As the company began researching expansion opportunities, the collaboration between the state, McHenry, McHenry County and the McHenry County Economic Development Corp. and other partners proved to make the difference in their decision.

“One of the pillars of economic development is retention, because 80 percent of net new job growth comes from existing businesses,” Pam Cumpata, president of McHenry County Economic Development Corp., said in the news release. “The expansion of Fabrik Industries is an excellent example of why MCEDC works closely with our primary businesses, our county and municipal partners with the shared goal of retaining our business base.”

Cumpata credited McHenry Mayor Sue Low, McHenry Director of Economic Development Doug Martin and other city staff with working with Fabrik and the MCEDC to make the expansion possible.

“The amazing work the people at Fabrik Molded Plastics are doing every day is a perfect example of what we can achieve here in McHenry County, and we should be doing everything we can to help them grow,” McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks said. “Reducing the property tax burden employers bear and creating conditions that will make more job creators want to set up shop here must be our primary focus as a board.”

Fabrik is a third-generation custom injection molding manufacturer of thermoplastics. Its components are used globally in automotive lighting and switches as well as in medical, consumer and electronic goods.

Recognizing the rapid pace at which innovation and automation is occurring in manufacturing, Fabrik developed an internship program for high school and college students to ensure a workforce for the future, the news release said. The company also participates in the Youth Manufacturing Program through the McHenry County Workforce Network.

The goal of program is to expose individuals between 18 to 24 to manufacturing through six-week internships that could result in full employment.

Participants rotate through the entire company so that when the student is offered a job, he or she understands expectations for full-time employment.

Fabrik also has worked closely with McHenry County high schools in the development of their industrial arts programs and providing assistance in development of curriculum.