May 17, 2022

Janco in Sully opens new facility

Gov. Terry Branstad was on hand for a ribbon cutting at the new Janco Industries manufacturing facility in Sully on Monday. The 70,000-square foot building at 600 W. Second Ave. brings the two divisions of the business under the same roof for the first time.

“I want to say congratulations to Joel and Deann and your family for the decision you have made, and I am proud to be here and witness this 70,000-square foot manufacturing expansion in Sully, Iowa,” Branstad said.

Joel Jansen and his wife, Deann, are owners of Janco, a company that specializes in metal fabrication. The business was originally founded by Jansen’s father, Ron, in 1993, who had also owned and operated Star Auto Company, a truck repair and equipment shop.

“Janco was started in 1993 by my father. We started out recovering husking rolls for the seed corn industry. About four years later, we got into the metal fab business. In 2000, my dad retried, and we purchased the company from him,” Jansen said.

From 2000 to 2010 the company employed about 15 people. In August 2010, Handy Industries, which is known for making high quality motorcycle lifts, truck tailgates and shop accessories, closed its doors and Janco purchased the company.

“From 2010 on, we ran our powder coating, our assembly and our sales staff in Marshalltown and our metal fabrication was in Sully,” Jansen said.

The Jansens had plans to eventually bring the team from the Marshalltown facility to a new, 50,000-square foot location in Sully, but when a fire ravaged the original building in January 2014, plans began to change.

Instead of operating out of multiple facilities in Sully, the Jansens decided to construct a brand-new facility a few blocks south of the fire damaged building.

“On Jan. 30, 2014, we had a massive fire in Sully, but prior to that fire we had building plans going on to get the Marshalltown facility to Sully. We were still going to utilize that building in Sully. When we had the fire we decided to add an additional 90 feet to the new building,” Jansen said.

Groundbreaking for the new facility started in May of last year but because of a rainy summer, the process was delayed.

“The process went very well — there were hardly any issues,” Jansen said. “The only setback was Mother Nature — that was nothing we could control.”

More than a dozen semi-trucks delivered the 426,000 pounds of steel necessary for construction in August of last year and the first of 14 sections of steel rafters were successfully set in place by the end of September. A month later, the building had steel siding and doors, and by January the entire building was fully enclosed and heat was turned on so the indoor process could continue. The final pieces of the puzzle came together in April and May, and the moving process began for members of the Janco and Handy teams.

The company now has 48 full-time and four part-time employees serving several industries including agriculture, construction and recreation under one roof.

“In one word, (it feels) overwhelming. To see it come together was very rewarding. The whole team worked together to create this,” Jansen said.

Also at the ribbon cutting were Iowa Economic Development Director Debi Durham, State Sen. Amy Sinclair (R-Allerton) and State Rep. Greg Heartsill (R-Columbia) along with Sen. Chaz Allen (D-Newton), who is also the executive director of the Jasper County Economic Development Corporation.

“This is an awesome project,” Allen said. “We started working on this in 2014, and we were going along with an expansion plans for the plant over here and the fire happened. I think the way Sully pulled together to help these guys get back on their feet is a testament to why they are here. They support the community and the community supports them.”

Even though the company is just getting comfortable in the new building, Jansen is already looking to the future.

“I’m happy to be where we’re at right now, but I already have plans for expansion,” Jansen said. “I know what we can complete on this property.”

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com