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Thursday, February 25, 2021

American Made: Falcon Steel to more than double size

Falcon Steel America

4201 Old Denton Rd,

Haltom City 76117

817-581-9500

falconsteel.com

U.S. Manufacturing

According to the Reshoring Initiative, in 2014 and 2015 parity was reached between offshoring and returning jobs, indicating that the net export of manufacturing jobs to offshore had stopped. As of 2016, for the first time, probably since the 1970s, there was a net positive gain in U.S. jobs. The U.S. has gone from losing about 220,000 manufacturing jobs per year at the beginning of the last decade, to adding 30,000 jobs in 2016.

If American manufacturing is coming back, Falcon Steel America, a designer, engineer and fabricator of American-made steel structures, may be at the forefront.

The Haltom City-based company announced Nov. 28 it has acquired a 226,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Conroe that will increase the company’s production capacity by 60 percent annually.

For CEO Jim Taylor, who took over two years ago, the new facility means the company can grow its business, even as it competes against overseas competition.

“If we’re given a level playing field out there, we’ll do well,” said Taylor. “Right now, India and Turkey bid against us because they’re subsidized by their governments. Give us a level playing field, we’ll compete with them, so manufacturing can survive in this country.”

The competition is tough. Taylor says that there used to be 14 lattice-tower manufacturers in the country, then two years ago, there were just two, one located in the facility Falcon purchased in Conroe and Falcon. Now there is one.

But Falcon is showing results. Taylor says the company has grown 45 percent in 2017 over 2016 and the expansion will help accommodate customer demand.

Since exiting bankruptcy in 2015, the company has been re-capitalized and has launched an aggressive initiative to enhance its position as the only one-stop resource for the design, engineering, fabrication and delivery of American-made steel structures for power transmission and distribution (T&D) companies.

In September 2016, Chase Bank along with ReignRock Capital Partners LLC and Inverdale Capital Management LLC – both of Dallas – joined forces to recapitalize Falcon. The transaction provides new equity and debt financing to support future growth

The 54-year-old company designs, engineers and fabricates lattice towers, poles and substation structures for electric utilities such as Oncor.

The company has also made other metal structures, such as sculptures at Grapevine Mills mall and those stairways at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. And those signs for the new highways Texas is building? They supply those, too.

It employs more than 300 workers at plants in Haltom City, Euless and Kaufman and plans to employ more than 150 at the new Conroe facility.

“We see robust growth opportunities on the horizon, and our expansion into Conroe allows us to significantly increase our production, and shrink turnaround time between fabrication and delivery for our customers,” said Taylor.

“Further, our new world-class facility establishes a strategic foothold for our company in the Greater Houston area. We look forward to being an active community partner in Conroe and Montgomery County and continuing to build upon our ‘Buy American, Hire American’ initiatives,” Taylor said.

At the new Conroe facility, the company will first establish its fabrication line, followed by its galvanizing line. Within the first year of operations, FSA will expand production to monopoles.

Falcon earned some goodwill after buying the building earlier this year when Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast. Falcon temporarily turned the fabrication facility into a receiving and distribution center to aid flood victims as well as house first responders.

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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