Another Franklin manufacturer plans expansion

Franklin-based Steele Solutions Inc. announced this that it plans to nearly double the size of its manufacturing plant.

The company says it needs to expand to meet rising demand for its products. The company manufactures steel structures, including mezzanines, equipment platforms, towers, catwalks, crossovers, stairways, safety gates and rails, and other accessories. The structures are used in the material handling, distribution and warehousing sectors, as well as in other industrial, commercial and military settings.

"This addition will let us handle the expanding needs of our existing customers and offer our creative design for equipment support and storage solutions to a greater number of customers in more markets," said Michael Thelen, company president.

The project will add 35,000 square feet of space to the facility at 9909 S. 57th St. in the Franklin Business Park. Once complete, the facility will have about 80,000 square feet of total space. Construction is expected to begin this month.

The expanded operations are likely to lead to hiring of up to 30 workers over the next two years, Thelen said. The company currently has 53 employees.

The Steele Solutions announcement comes shortly after Baptista’s Bakery Inc. announced earlier this month that it plans to build a $75 million, 120,000-square-foot expansion onto its plant at 4625 W. Oakwood Park Drive in Franklin. The company plans add 200 jobs at the plant, which currently has 160 employees.

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