MODESTO (CBS13) — A major manufacturing plant is moving into Modesto and it’s bringing hundreds of new jobs along with it.
Entekra CEO Gerry McCaughey describes it as “a robotics factory building homes.”
“It is state-of-the-art,” McCaughey said.
It’s a $35 million hi-tech facility under construction on East Whitmore Avenue.
“We say we’re a fully integrated off-site solution provider. Really what that means is we’re bringing framing a house into the 21st century,” McCaughey said.
The new location will soon become the company’s corporate headquarters and largest manufacturing plant.
“This Entekra deal is a big deal. Big deal for Modesto. Big deal for Stanislaus County,” said Tyler Richardson of Opportunity Stanislaus, a non-profit business management consultant agency in Modesto.
Richardson said it is already changing the landscape of the construction industry in Northern California.
“They manufacture off-site home building materials, and then they assemble them together at the site of the home,” he said.
The new plant is nearly ten times larger than its current location in downtown Ripon.
“We’ve got the most technologically advanced building systems business in the entire nation coming to the city of Modesto,” said Modesto Mayor Ted Brandvold. “This is exactly the type of business that will spur other businesses to come to our area; to our city.”
It’s also expected to generate more than 250 new jobs.
“You’ll have a lot of manufacturing jobs, advanced manufacturing, but also have customer service and engineering, sales and marketing of some sort,” added Richardson.
Probably the most exciting portion of the project, said McCaughey, is the dramatic increase in productivity his business provides.
“We would say it actually increases framing productivity by 300-500%,” he added.
The company said it will reduce the length of construction from about two weeks to just a few days.
“When we first said we could do a house in 3-4 days people thought we were crazy. They thought, ‘these crazy Irish guys, who do they think they are?’ But not knowing we’ve been doing this for 30 years,” said McCaughey.
The company will use hi-tech automated machinery and robotic-type equipment to build homes within a 250-mile radius of Modesto.
“It’s speed, quality, efficiency, and sustainability,” he added.
The company is already building hundreds of new homes in Tracy Hills, Lathrop, and Sacramento. Construction of the new plant is expected to be complete this summer, with production scheduled to start soon after.