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With bright future ahead, Omaha Steel Castings cuts ribbon in Wahoo

With bright future ahead, Omaha Steel Castings cuts ribbon in Wahoo

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Wahoo and state officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday for Omaha Steel Castings.

The company, which will be 107 years old soon, is moving its production from its longtime Omaha foundry at 46th and Farnam Streets in Omaha to a new $13.5 million plant in Wahoo, a task to be completed by the end of the year.

Company officials said the Wahoo utility hookup cost Omaha Steel about $20,000, compared with a projected $2 million in estimated costs to add utilities in possible Omaha locations.

The staff of about 160 is gradually transferring to the Wahoo site, although some employees who live in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area may choose not to commute. Owner and President Phil Teggart said he hopes to grow to about 250 people within six to nine months, thanks to a 30 percent to 40 percent improvement in efficiency at the new plant.

Under Teggart's leadership, production is growing and is expected to reach $30 million in sales next year after taking a dip this year during the transition to the new plant. That's nearly double 2010's sales.

In an interview, Wahoo Mayor Janet A. Jonas said the construction and move-in has gone well from the city's standpoint. She said Omaha Steel is the city's largest employer.

“We have nobody else of that size.”

Most important, she said, Teggart has been “a No. 1 Wahoo booster since the week we knew they were coming.”

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