Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced two global steel building product companies are teaming up to create Sustainable Building Systems LLC, which will be headquartered in North Haven and employ more than 400 people within four years. The new company, a joint venture between the Weeks Group and Diverse Services Group (DSG), will specialize in making sustainable building panels for homes, hotels, the military, as well as other applications. The new company will occupy nearly 400,000 square feet at 297 State Street.
"Today's announcement is about jobs," said Governor Malloy. "We know there is a growing confidence in our state's economy because more people are looking for work. That influx in the workforce caused our unemployment rate to increase slightly last month, and it may well increase again. But let's be clear why this is happening. It's happening because more people are looking for work and we continue to battle national and international headwinds. With the investments we are making in growth industries, through announcements like today and in other First Five companies, we are positioning our state for future success."
"Across the country, we are grappling with the fundamental question of how we can reinvent the American economy," continued Governor Malloy. "In the last century, the steel industry was the backbone of our nation, providing jobs and helping to build the middle class. Companies like Sustainable Building Systems represent the next evolution of that industry. By embracing 21st Century technology, what's old is becoming new again. Green products represent the future and I'm happy to welcome Sustainable Building Systems to American soil."
As part of the startup of Sustainable Building Systems, the Weeks Group will train 50 local employees in all aspects of the manufacturing process. A total of 408 employees will be hired within four years.
"DSG has always been committed to increasing environmental responsibility and effective building processes as well as having a positive direct and indirect economic impact," said Duane Armijo, DSG CEO and President of SBS. "Combining our operational, administrative and manufacturing functions to create SBS allows us to meet the demand of our growing sustainable building industry, as well as provide more than 400 jobs to the local economy. We're very much looking forward to being an integral part of the community in North Haven."
DSG, based in Arizona, is a leader in energy efficient and innovative building products for commercial, industrial, residential construction, the military, schools, as well as for modular, disaster and contingency uses. The company's environmentally friendly, sustainable building products reduce construction costs and perform better than conventional products.
"We are thrilled at the opportunity to expand here in the United States and have the ability to share our innovative and customer focused organization that has provided quality products for over twenty years," said Peter Zitis, CEO of Steel Buildings Systems International (SBSI), a subsidiary of the Weeks Group. "We are delighted at the opportunity available through Governor Malloy's First Five program and believe that the State of Connecticut is strategically located to enhance the growth of SBS as we continue to expand our global operations."
The Weeks Group, Australian owned and operated since it was founded more than 20 years ago, builds homes and manufactures steel framing products for residential and commercial construction. It has seven subsidiaries and operates from multiple sites in Australia, with joint venture projects in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, and is the parent company of SBSI, the subsidiary that has part ownership of SBS.
State support for the $97 million project will be provided through Governor Malloy's First Five program, which is administered by Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). The agency will provide a 10-year loan of $19.1 million at 2% interest to be disbursed in three installments. Ten million dollars will be provided at the closing; $5 million will be paid within two years after the closing if the company has created 208 jobs; and $4.1 million within four years if the company has created another 200 jobs, for a total of 408 jobs. Funding will go toward the purchase of machinery and equipment. The new company's logo is attached.
"These two companies are bringing the principles of advanced precision manufacturing to the construction industry," said Catherine Smith, commissioner of DECD. "It's that kind innovative spirit and entrepreneurialism that the state wants to support with the Governor's First Five program."