New industry comes to Richmond

The city of Richmond was excited to share with community members the welcoming of the newest manufacturing facility, TRB Lightweight Structures, which has the potential to create 40 to 50 new jobs.

The announcement was made via Facebook, reading, “As a joint venture with Toyota Tsusho America, this 40,000 square foot facility will use modern robotics, allowing for the high volume production of carbon fiber components for the automotive sector.”

TRB will occupy an already existing facility at Richmond’s Industrial Park II, which has a total of 80,000 square feet, allowing for expansion.

City Manager Rob Minerich said the facility was built 10 years ago when the company wanted to originally open shop, but it never came to fruition. The building has never been utilized.

“They had plans at one time to move, and it never came to fruition, and (it’s) nice to see someone purchase the building,” he said.

Minerich reported the company also purchased an additional 42 acres adjacent to the property, which he said was a good indicator for potential expansion.

The company has to do some retrofitting to the structure before they are able to get started, but Minerich predicts it would be running in 2020.

“I think this again shows that Richmond is poised to grow and is very business and user friendly to manufacturing, industry and small business,” Minerich said. “We are a rural community that people are taking a hard look at and saying, ‘Wow this community has a great quality of life.’ That is a big draw, what do they offer for workforce develop, recreation and quality of life. Richmond has that with the university, parks and rec, sports and entertainment. We are really poised for where people want to live.”

Minerich credited the city’s economic development director, David Stipes, for his hard work in getting more businesses and industry in the city limits.

“People don’t understand. It doesn’t come together over night,” he said. “It requires a lot of legwork, and he is consistent in getting it in place and doing the legwork and deserves the credit for it.”

Several weeks ago, the city commission approved an ordinance that would allow for another potential industry to locate in the city, called “Project Mustang” until revealed, with the goal of bringing an added 40 to 50 jobs.

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