With the seemingly non-stop rains seen throughout the Midwest, it wasn’t only farmers and lake inhabitants that felt drowned in too much water.

With the seemingly non-stop rains seen throughout the Midwest, it wasn’t only farmers and lake inhabitants that felt drowned in too much water.

Bill Sifflard, Director of Business Development for Quaker, says the rain put construction plans at the new location in Eldon behind six months. Foundation work was planned to be completed by the start of 2019. Unfortunately, this work was just completed two weeks ago. He says the team has still been doing what work they can throughout the entire year, and are hoping that the current spree of nice weather and reasonable temperatures will help get them back on track.

When trying to work through the rain, Sifflard says the machine being used to level the ground at the construction site were simply pushing mud and getting stuck in it at the same time. Now that the weather is in a calmer state, the issue turns to laying the cement at an appropriate temperature. Sifflard says that they have been facing trouble with making sure temperatures aren’t too hot, as to make the dried cement too brittle. In order to accomplish this, crews worked 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. to keep material at the perfect coolness.

With the schedule now held back, Sifflard says that interior work and movement of new equipment into the structure should commence in the first quarter of 2020. Originally, Quaker had hoped to have lines started up by Q4 2019, which will no longer be a possibility. Even so, Sifflard is happy with what the construction teams have been able to accomplish even with the setbacks they’ve faced.

In the meantime, Siffalrd says the company is putting a heavy emphasis on getting hiring and HR processes setup. Quaker had considered making early hires and shuttling them to the current plants to get new hires trained early and ready to get operations running at Eldon when the plant was complete. However, after looking at the logistics of time and travel required to do this, they are moving their efforts to making sure training can be done at the Eldon plant right away. 

Quaker has already hired an HR Specialist to help with questions from new hires. Luann Lowe, an Eldon resident, will be heading this position and will be ready once hiring begins. For those in the Eldon area chomping at the bit to get one of the positions available, Sifflard says they are setting up a website that will begin to provide residents with constant updates. That can be found at QuakerWindows.com/Eldon-Update , though Sifflard says it may be a few weeks before it is online.

Much of the equipment and machines needed for the plant have already been ordered, with many already on the way or already delivered to the Eldon location. This is one of the elements of the new plant that is still on time and will not have any delays.

Sifflards says that he can’t say enough about how easy the work has been accomplished with the contractors Quaker is working with. Alongside the City of Eldon and the many contractors working on electric, groundwork and more, he says anything Quaker has asked to be done has been ready at a moments notice. He says they hope to provide information more efficiently to the people of Eldon and surrounding townships to keep everyone in the loop on when the plant will finally open. For now, it looks like 2020 is the goal.

“We are really excited and chomping at the bit to get open and we’re really looking forward to expanding into this community and being an active participant,” Sifflard said.