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Company exporting implements to China

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Diane Dierks photo

Employee Brad Bryan cuts metal to be used in the production of skid-steer loader implements at Coneqtec Universal in Carbon.



A major expansion is happening at the Coneqtec Universal manufacturing facility in Carbon. The company has become so successful that they recently began exporting concrete and asphalt products to China.

Coneqtec Universal produces implements and connecting attachments for skid-steer loaders used in the concrete and asphalt industry. A skid-steer loader is a compact four-wheel drive machine used to carry, scrape or load different materials such as dirt, snow, asphalt and stumps. Coneqtec Universal specializes in the manufacturing of the implements that attach to skid-steer loaders such as, slot cutters, stump grinders, pickup brooms, surface prep and planers.

Ron Venegas, plant manager, said this is the third expansion of the company since it was founded in a garage near Carbon in 1998. The company moved to its current location in 2000. Production grew by 25 percent last year and the plant employs 22 workers. Coneqtec Universal has a sister location in Wichita, Kan. and the name of the company comes from the term "construction equipment technology".

Venegas believes Coneqtec Universal is so successful because of the quality of the product. He commented, "There are other people who make what we make, but our design is the best. It is patented and sets us apart from everybody else. Other companies can not compete with us because our design is superior."

Venegas has over 25 years of manufacturing experience. He began most of his positions as an hourly employee and worked his way up to management. He became plant manager of Coneqtec Universal in 2005.

"If you think you can do it and you put your nose to the grindstone, you can achieve it," he said.

Recruiting new employees is a challenge for the fast-growing company and employees are contracted through Manpower. After a probationary period, the company looks for workers who have proven their success and then transitions them to permanent positions. Coneqtec Universal maintains an 8-hour day shift production schedule and employees are off work most weekends.

This is an exciting time to be part of the ground-level expansion, Venegas said.

Staffing levels have increased by 100 percent over the last 18 months. The company does about 95 percent of its business in the United States and Canada, but the expansion into China in 2006 has the potential for explosive growth.

"There's nothing like what we make over there (China) and we're fortunate to have the new business," Venegas said.

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