New Jobs: New expansion brings 300 jobs to the city

A company that makes fuel cells for airplanes is expanding in Wichita Falls and bringing with it almost 300 new jobs.

AmFuel announced Wednesday that it would be closing its main plant in Magnolia and will relocate to the already established plant in Wichita Falls located at the old Delphi building.

Poor conditions at AmFuel's existing plant in Arkansas are forcing the move to be sooner than expected.

"It certainly means more jobs than expected," said Henry Florsheim, President of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce.  "It also means they will get up and running much faster than originally predicted."

The excitement continues at the Texas Workforce Commission, which connects employers and people looking for jobs through training and placement programs.

"Lot of interest," said Mona Strater, Executive Director of the Workforce Commission.  "Lot of calls from people waiting for those jobs to be posted.
You're always looking for the next best thing if you have another anytime a new business comes to town I think there is a lot of excitement," said Strater. 
The head of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce expects, even more, jobs once the expansion is completed.

"The workforce here is so much more productive," said Florsheim.  "They can do in three days here what it was taking three weeks in Arkansas."

Strater said people of all working background experience have been sending in applications. 
"It is assembly work," said Strater. "I do not believe there was any experience needed."

AmFuel expects the move from Arkansas to be complete by November.

"The challenge has been getting the facility ready to move all of this production over here."
Statser said the kind of jobs AmFuel will bring and the way the company will pay is encouraging.

"When you have good jobs coming in with a little bit more than minimum wage to start than yes it is a very good thing," said Statser. 
Florsheim said it is important to have something like AmFuel in Wichita Falls.

"We're an aviation community," said Florsheim.  "We've got other airspace manufacturers already so between them and Sheppard, bringing in more aerospace-related companies just makes sense."
AmFuel currently has 40 employees at the plant in Wichita Falls.

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