A growing manufacturer of patented truck beds and trailers that automatically load and unload shipping containers on Tuesday announced that it’s expanding into the Bill Theisen Industrial Park in near The Plains in Athens County, according to a news release from JobsOhio.
The announcement was made in London as Quick Loadz Container System celebrated its graduation from the London Stock Exchange Group’s ELITE Program, a program in partnership with JobsOhio, the release said.
JobsOhio is Ohio’s economic development agency.
The program is designed to provide high-growth potential companies with intensive education, business support, and direct contact with the international financial and advisory community, the release said, noting that QuickLoadz was one of 10 companies from southeast Ohio to complete the program.
In the release, Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said, “The ELITE program is helping us support important growth opportunities in Ohio, and the expansion of QuickLoadz today is the perfect example of how this partnership can help propel new job creation across the state. I’m confident that JobsOhio’s strategic investment in these southeast Ohio companies will continue to support new growth in the region.”
QuickLoadz plans to add 40 new jobs and grow to 52 employees over the next three years as it expands its production capacity and grows sales of their unique shipping system, according to the release.
The JobsOhio vice president and head of economic development also praised the program in the release.
“QuickLoadz is a great example of how innovative companies can establish a business in southeast Ohio and continue to thrive and grow,” said Dana Saucier. “This investment demonstrates the confidence QuickLoadz has in Athens County’s talent, and brings new opportunity to a vacant facility there.”
Company owner Sean Jones founded the business in 2013, after inventing a microcomputer-controlled system that allows operators to complete the container moving process from a smart phone.
“QuickLoadz products are unique, patented and in high demand. The increased production capacity will allow the company to grow quickly, creating high-wage, high-skilled jobs in southeastern Ohio,” Jones said in the release.
The move from a small building in Nelsonville to the 47,000-square-foot building in the Theisen Industrial Park will enable QuickLoadz to take more orders, reduce delivery times, and increase sales, the release said. That, in turn, will result in new jobs for skilled, well-paid workers, the release said.
QuickLoadz is renovating and moving into a building that has been vacant since 2014 and had fallen into disrepair. The property has housed several different businesses over the years and was originally the location of Columbus & Southern Power’s Poston Power Plant.
The company will invest approximately $1.2 million to renovate the building and get it ready for increased production, according to the release. JobsOhio and the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG) assisted the company in obtaining a $300,000 JobsOhio Revitalization Grant to renovate the property. The program is designed to encourage redevelopment of underutilized properties and support companies that are creating new jobs and investing capital in fixed assets.
State Rep. Jay Edwards, R-Nelsonville, who has been critical of JobsOhio for allegedly neglecting southeast Ohio, characterized this as good news. “Sean Jones is a creative problem solver who is making a difference in our area,” he said Tuesday. “It’s great to see his years of hard work continue to translate into jobs and positive economic impact.”