Draka moves along with expansion

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Mitchell Settles, front, and Calvin Lyons inspect elevator wire harnesses on Friday at the new Draka Elevator Products distribution and production facility at the Whitaker Business & Industry Center.


Staff Writer

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A local plant has completed some parts of a local expansion distribution project and is also part of the company’s safety milestone achievement.

Draka Elevator Products, a leading cable manufacturer and component distribution source in the vertical transportation industry, operates its global headquarters facility on North Church Street in Rocky Mount and a distribution center in the Battleboro community. Kyle Hendren, global marketing and product manager for Draka Elevator Products, said the company has finished phase one of a $13 total million expansion of what will be a 350,000-square-foot distribution center and production facility located at 6533 Corporation Parkway and adjacent to the current distribution center.

Hendren said phase one of the expansion facility totaled 38,400 square feet and cost $3.2 million. Hendren said company plans are to continue the expansion in the next few years. Draka Elevator Products President Sterrett Lloyd said the land for the distribution center expansion was granted by Nash County with assistance from the Carolinas Gateway Partnership in helping fund the new infrastructure.

“We have hired 70 permanent full-time employees at our Church Street and expansion facility combined since the beginning of the year,” Hendren said. “Draka Elevator Products is dedicated to our business in Nash County. We invest here for the quality of our employee capability. We expanded to meet the needs of our customers and increase our capabilities in our markets both for our domestic markets and export to global markets.”

The local plant also surpassed one million hours worked without a lost-time accident. Draka officials said the milestone was exceeded in April and also achieved in February when including all of Draka’s North American operations. The hours were representative of more than 300 employees, as the last occurrence of a recordable lost-time accident was more than two years ago.

“We stress personal accountability and individual responsibility for safety,” Hendren said. “It’s a culture where each individual accepts their role.”

The employees were treated by Draka by a steak lunch and received commemorative T-shirts to mark the occasion. In addition, a letter was mailed out to the families of each employee, thanking them for helping to reach the milestone in safety performance at work, company officials said..

Wynne Ellis, global director of operations at Draka Elevator Products, said the main goal of the company every day is for every employee to return home safely to their families after each shift.

“We’re especially proud of our employees to have reached this milestone and encourage everyone to focus on safey for the next million hours,” Ellis said.