Metal fabrication company follows Catalyst Exhibits from Illinois to Kenosha County
Four months after Catalyst Exhibits announced its move to Pleasant Prairie, a metal fabrication company working under the same roof in Crystal Lake, Ill., is likewise shifting its operations across the border.
For The Metal Shop, the move to its new space at 10555 86th Ave. is already under way, with half of its equipment already in place. As with Catalyst, the transition will be completed by the end of August.
While the developments are connected — Catalyst Exhibits is The Metal Shop’s largest client — each will have its own distinct space nearly one mile from each other.
For the past eight years, The Metal Shop has leased space from Catalyst. Todd Swift, Vice President of Operations for The Metal Shop, said the company has been seeking additional space for the past few years, and Catalyst’s move to LakeView Corporate Park provided an opportunity to accomplish that. “We’re coming because of Catalyst. We’re their sole metal supplier for the exhibit side of the business,” Swift said. “At the same time, this will enable us to establish our own identity and diversify as we grow.”
The Metal Shop employs six full-time employees and has a part-time workforce that brings the total up to 11. Its space will expand from 10,000 to more than 35,000 square feet, and Swift said the company expects by year’s end to hire at least five more people, mostly in its fabrication division.
The Metal Shop is a complete fabrication and machine shop with laser cutting, waterjet cutting, CNC machining, welding, as well as 3D modeling and sheet bending capabilities. More than 90 percent of its work is aluminum, and the company also works with steel, stainless steel and other materials. Founded in 2002 by Duane Swift, the company’s specialty is the fabrication of custom parts and structures for the trade show industry, working in cooperation with Catalyst Exhibits.
The company is online at www.themetalshopp.com.
A marketing company, Catalyst Exhibits specializes in the design, development, fabrication and management of exhibits and displays for tradeshows and expos. The company has signed a long-term lease to occupy a 144,000-square-foot building in LakeView Corporate Park and will invest $2.5 million to renovate and equip the new facility. The company employs 88 and expects to add up to 25 new hires over the next few years as it expands.
“We are pleased to welcome The Metal Shop to Kenosha County. Their selection of LakeView Corporate Park for their expanding operations is a positive signal and encouraging news on the heels of Catalyst Exhibits’ decision to locate in Pleasant Prairie,” commented Todd Battle, President of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance.
The State Department of Commerce has pledged a $500,000 loan to Catalyst Exhibits, and KABA is providing $1.25 million in the form of a low-interest loan to assist with facility renovations and equipment.