CHICAGO — JMC Steel Group, the largest independent steel pipe and tube manufacturer in North America and parent company of Wheatland Tube, celebrated two years in Chicago with a guided plant tour, luncheon and visit from Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday, September 16, at the South Side Wheatland Tube manufacturing facility.
Mayor Emanuel gave a speech highlighting Wheatland Tube’s contribution to local economic growth, after remarks from JMC’s CEO, Barry Zekelman, who spoke to the company’s role in strengthening Chicago’s workforce. Guests were then invited to take guided tours of the plant.
“It’s not always all about office work. It’s about being able to do all you can for the city. It’s the men and women in the back door of Chicago — the 600-plus people who are committed to the city — who export out of this facility,” Mayor Emanuel said during his speech.
Wheatland Tube invited employees and their families, as well as customers, local contractors, city agencies, and local and state politicians — including Alderman George Cardenas and Illinois State Senator Tony Munoz — to gather at the manufacturing plant and celebrate Chicago’s strong base of manufacturing companies.
In 2011, JMC relocated its headquarters from Beachwood, Ohio, to Chicago. Today, the company employs approximately 600 people in Illinois alone — a combined total from the Atlas Tube and Wheatland Tube Chicago manufacturing facilities as well as JMC’s corporate headquarters. The Wheatland Tube plant employs approximately 190 people, after adding 30 jobs in the last two years, including engineers, machinists, crane and forklift operators, and wastewater treatment operators, among others.
“The short-term solution for many companies has been to move jobs offshore, to non-union or less expensive states, thus leaving well-established cities like Chicago, Detroit and others with rapidly increasing unemployment,” Zekelman said. “This does not need to happen and will not happen as long as JMC is in Chicago.”Tagged with tED