Arlington manufacturer moving to Bennington in 2013
By Patrick McArdle
STAFF WRITER | December 28,2012
BENNINGTON — A manufacturing company in Arlington will be moving to Bennington next year after acquiring a building in the Morse Industrial Park, according to Peter Odierna, executive director of the Bennington County Industrial Corp.
At the former site in Arlington, the company was “space strained,” Odierna said. The new building, which is the former Miller Structures building, is about three times larger than the company’s existing site.
Eric Broderson, vice president of K&E, described it as a family business which his father, Peter, started in 1966 in New Jersey. The business is named for Eric and his brother Kurt.
“We moved up here in the mid-’80s, to the Southern Vermont area, so the business has been in Londonderry, East Dorset, Manchester, Arlington and, of course, now we’re getting ready to move down to Bennington,” he said.
K&E is a contract machine shop that runs jobs primarily for industrial customers. Broderson said it was like any other machine shop except that instead of cutting aluminum, brass or steel, employees are machining pieces made from plastics.
The industrial corporation has been working to develop a “composites cluster” in the Bennington area, encouraging the development of businesses that use carbon composites as a manufacturing material like Plasan and Kaman Composites Vermont. Those companies make parts used in products like automobiles, helicopters and medical scanners and K&E could fit in well with its new neighbors, according to Broderson.
“We have been growing now for about 13 to 15 months and it’s been steady growth. We had about a 20 percent growth rate last year so we’re expecting that again this year. We see more and more developments in plastics to reduce weight in the aerospace (and) transportation industry and we see more use of it in the medical industry; that’s where we’re seeing most of the growth,” he said.
Reducing the weight of a car or a plane is important because that makes it more fuel efficient.
Odierna said that helping K&E move to a larger location but keeping it in Bennington County was an example of the industrial corporation’s strategy of “retaining and expanding local businesses.”
Broderson said the main reason for moving from the site where K&E has been located since 1999 and choosing the larger building in Bennington was “pretty simple.”
“Here in East Arlington, it was just not really cost-effective to add on another addition to the existing building we’re in due to the land layout, wetlands, the costs and all the other stuff that gets involved in there,” he said.
Broderson said the company has been looking, with the help of the Bennington County Industrial Corp., for several years but couldn’t find the right site that had a building for sale and not space for rent. Working with Hoisington Realty, the building on Morse Road was found.
The actual move will probably take place in May, Broderson added.
While the move is primarily to provide more space, Broderson said it could lead to at least one new job at the company that currently employs about 25 people.
“Our feeling is, we have no space where we are now, so come May, I can see within the first 12 months adding an employee or two,” he said.
Odierna said with the acquisition by K&E of the Bennington building, all of the large industrial spaces in Bennington County are now in use although the industrial corporation is continuing to develop its own park so more space will be available if employers show an interest in the area.