Despite economy, Parker upgrades

Stephanie Gomes
Parker Fabrication employed its own workers to complete the expansion of its Courtland Avenue facility.

During this unsteady economic climate, one local business has avoided layoffs as well as cutting the hours of its employees.

In fact, Parker Fabrication in Morton has decided to expand its facility on Courtland Avenue using the resources found right inside their business.

Instead of making personnel cuts, the business is paying its employees to do the renovation and construction work themselves.

“We’re doing a lot of the project ourselves,” said Matthew Parker, co-owner of the Parker Fabrication. “As opposed to sending good people home or reducing hours, we thought it was beneficial to use their time. If we didn’t do this expansion project, we would definitely have to do some layoffs.”

Construction began about two months ago on the business that specializes in exhaust components of industrial engines, said Parker.

The $800,000 project includes a 15,000-square-foot addition to the exsiting facility and a 3,000-square-foot office renovation.

The project is expected to be complete in March or April of this year, Parker said. And an average of eight employees work on the project daily.

“It’s nerve-racking, but it’s good timing,” Parker said, adding that business is slow this time of year.

The business did a great deal of research before taking on the project, Parker said.

For example, the company got its hands on a diamond-bladed saw, which cuts through concrete and other tough materials, he said.

“We researched it and ended up finding a machine that was suited for the job,” he said, adding that two men operate the machine. “It allows us to keep the work in house.”

When asked if layouts will be conducted after the project is complete, Parker said he does not think that will be the case.

“There are still going to be a lot of things to do,” he said.

Parker Fabrication has worked with the Morton contractor, Core Construction, during the project.

Parker said they were very understanding of the business wanting to keep the renovations in house.

“It’s been really great working with them,” he said. “They’ve been really helpful.”

Added Parker, “We’re all in this together. Especially now, we’re starting to see the project shape up.”