WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichitans are finally seeing the old Stanley Tools building put to good use after Pamlico Air opened their doors in Wichita Falls a few months ago.
On Tuesday, city and county officials and others were able to get a tour of the new 180,000 square foot facility.
Pamlico Air CEO Travis Stephenson said this plant will be one of two anchors for the company, even as they expand with more facilities.
“This is where the most volume will be, where the most equipment, the most people,” Pamlico Air CFO Scott Lampe said.
After sitting vacant more than a decade, the old Stanley Tools building is now home to over 100 new jobs in Wichita Falls.
“Sitting up there and you think nobody is every going to want it, for them to come in and purchase it, redo it, drop millions of dollars in it, then automatically start producing product and hire 100 employees, 100 citizens is pretty neat,” Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana said.
The new company that manufactures air filters and air filtration products and equipment are ready to be in the falls for the long run and the city economy will benefit from new businesses like Pamlico Air.
“We’ve made a pretty big bed with our investment here with the city,” Stephenson said. “For this to be one of our anchor spots that we may even reach a little bit farther than we normally would.”
“This is not just oil and gas manufacturing or aerospace manufacturing, which those two were our bread and butter for 50 years, air filters it’s a different industry, industrial hemp it’s a different industry, and so as one struggles, another one comes up,” Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Henry Florsheim said.
The first few months in town could not have been better, with Stephenson saying all the help from the city and county sped up the process by six months.
Plant manager Michael Parsons moved to Wichita Falls in January in preparation for the opening and couldn’t be more thankful for the response so far.
“We really lucked out in hiring because we’ve got our floor crew and they went from not being able to build anything to being able to build like champions,” Parsons said. “So, I’m really proud of them, I’m proud of the community for standing behind us and getting it started.”
Pamlico Air plans to add more machines soon that would result in double the jobs for the city.
And none of this could have been possible without the group of local investors who owned the old Stanley Tools building donating the facility to the city’s 4-A board.