SJE broke ground on a new 51,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Ashland, Ohio. The ceremony took place despite rain, mud, and winds that blew the company’s tent across a field shortly before it began.

“I like to think that anyone can do a groundbreaking on a sunny day, but our day shows our resilience and determination to not let anything stop us from kicking off such a major event for our company,” Chief Financial Officer, Taunia Suckert, says.

One major motivating factor behind the new facility is to add room for growth. SJE has been leasing a space for manufacturing in Ashland since acquiring CSI Controls in 2008. However, the current space has become insufficient, with manufacturing production areas spread over four separate floors in one building. The new space will increase efficiency by having all areas on one level.

“It will enable us to be more efficient in our processes than our currently facility, provides an opportunity for expansion, and gives our employee-owners a great place to work,” Suckert says.

On March 23, they purchased about 8 acres of land in the Ashland Business Park, where the new facility will be built. During the ceremony, CEO Dave Thomas spoke about the work leading up to this point.

“These types of things mark what looks like the beginning of a project, but the reality is, there's been an unbelievable amount of work that has gone into getting us to this point, not only by folks internally, but…dozens of people in the community of Ashland,” Thomas says.

Construction will begin as soon as weather permits, as SJE hopes to have the new facility ready by December. Ashland provides many benefits, including a central U.S. location and a strong pump industry, but ultimately the 67 employees working in the branch were the driving reason for the move.

"They're the reason why we have chosen to make this investment in the Ashland community and in our Ashland team," Thomas says. "Their drive, their dedication, and just their embodiment of the vision and values that we have at this company are without question an inspiration for me and an inspiration for our leadership team every time we visit Ashland, Ohio."

SJE is a water/wastewater controls solutions provider and systems integrator with over 40 years of expertise. SJE markets three brands—SJE Rhombus, CSI Controls and Primex—that deliver pump controls for a wide range of residential, commercial, municipal and industrial applications. With corporate headquarters located in Detroit Lakes, Minn., SJE does business globally from eight locations across the United States and Asia. SJE is a 100-percent employee-owned, privately held company and was named the 2017 Employee Owned Company of the Year. To learn more, visit