Posted: 7:00 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012

Springfield good fit for expanding company


Springfield good fit for expanding company photo
MEVA President Scott Fisk
Springfield good fit for expanding company photo
The city of Springfield has reached an agreement with MEVA Formwork Systems Inc. on an expansion at their location at AirPark Ohio, which will retain 35 jobs and create 15 new jobs over the next three years. Staff photo by Bill Lackey

By Everdeen Mason

German-based MEVA Formwork Systems — which manufactures, rents and sells formwork products in the concrete construction industry — announced a $2.5 million expansion at its North American Headquarters at Airpark Ohio.

The expansion will bring 15 new jobs that pay around $42,000 a year over three years.

The Springfield News-Sun contacted company president Scott Fisk to ask him about MEVA’s relationship with Springfield and its future here.

Q: How long have you been with MEVA?

A: I’ve been with MEVA since April of 2005, so about 8 years. I actually live in northeast Ohio and travel most of the time. When I’m not traveling, I’m in Springfield two to three days a week. We cover probably about 18 states.

Q: How long has MEVA been in Springfield?

A: The first employee came to Springfield in 2000.

Q: How many local employees does MEVA have?

A: Roughly 40 and it probably increased a bit.

Q: Where else is MEVA located?

A: In the U.S. we’re located in Springfield. We are looking at making a satellite operation in the northeast. We just hired a salesman in New England and in Toronto. We may put in a location over there.

Q: Does MEVA have any local suppliers or clients?

A: We work with Kapp Construction, we work with Baker Concrete and we work with a company called lisco, and Danis (Building Co.) is a contractor in Columbus we work with.

Q: Why did MEVA decide to put its American headquarters in Springfield?

A: It basically started when they were looking in the U.S., they met Folker Hemmann who ran German-American (Development Company). Since he was located in Springfield, he was instrumental in getting us here. In the U.S. we had an opportunity to put an engineer in Folker’s office when we started. And because Baker (Concrete) was one of our early customers located in the Springfield area, and the logistics of Springfield being close to (Interstate) 75, 70 and 71.

We cover major markets like Chicago, Toronto, Nashville and Cincinnati, Baltimore, St. Louis and those markets, so (Springfield) is pretty much centrally located, which is a benefit. The people here are invaluable … most of the people hired with the exception of sales all come from the Springfield area.

Q: The company has just committed to a $2.5 million expansion that will bring 15 jobs. Why is it important for MEVA to continue to invest here?

A: The people. We’ve got a good source of people and very strong work ethic in the area. Secondly, there’s a definite advantage with the highways network. The Midwest offers steady growth and opportunities for construction work, and we do a lot of work with dams, water treatment plants, university work and hospitals. The recession hit a lot of people in the industry in Florida and California because they’re caught up in the condominium market. Here, we got to do a lot more civil projects and projects needed to service the population. Plus, there’s a large population base in a five to six-hour radius.

Q: What is the reason for the expansion?

A: When we came into market, we came as a company selling formwork to distributors. In 2003 MEVA identified that the sale of products like this would start to diminish because we sell a good product. It doesn’t wear out soon, so once people start buying, the demand is low. When the economy started to downturn, we focused on the rental business, expanded sales, expanded our markets and hired more engineers. The more direct rentals demanded more salesman and engineers, and that’s part of the expansion. With the economy stirring the way it has, we’ve been able to stir the market, and that’s part of why we did the expansion.


Hot topics