Under one roof: Accessories Unlimited constructing new shop in Detroit Lakes industrial park
Accessories Unlimited, a company that manufactures attachments for skid steers and tractors, is consolidating their various shops in the area by building one big facility in the Detroit Lakes industrial park.
"We're hoping to gain some efficiency by being here. Right now, we operate out of three different buildings," said Mark Rasmussen, who co-owns Accessories Unlimited along with Travis Ballard.
The company's 28 employees are spread out currently, doing assembly at one location and fabricating and welding at another. Ballard says having all the tools and equipment and people at one location is going to be ideal. They're also able to build it the way they want it, adding more hoists than they currently have, some more safety equipment and a new air-handling system to provide a cleaner work environment.
The new building is big enough to house it all. It's 60 feet by 248 feet, and Ballard says there is room to grow, which is why they picked a spot in the industrial park. The shop is being built at the end of a cul de sac on Eagle Street, which is so new it can't be pulled up on a map yet.
"We like it here. We know we have other friends in the industrial park here who we grew up with, people we can rely on if we need something," said Rasmussen.
Until the new site is finished, they will continue to be based out of Lake Park, but they are hoping their new building will be complete by late spring, early summer, and they will be able to transition everything over and be fully operational in the new building by fall 2019.
Rasmussen and Ballard both grew up in Detroit Lakes and graduated from high school here. They both spent time working at BTD before branching off on their own business endeavor, and Rasmussen says they are excited to be part of the community again.
"Our goal is long-term that we want to give to the community...we're just like many of the companies in town here. We want to be a good steward of the community. We want to help out where we can. We want to create good jobs," said Rasmussen.
The two have made a point of getting their business involved in events already, like helping out with the ice castle last year, and they are helping out again this year by designing some equipment for the planned projects down at the beach. They are also decided to donate 150 hats and pairs of mittens to local schools and churches.
"The goal there was just so that if a kid needs a hat or some mittens, that they had some," said Rasmussen. "We don't want to see people going without, especially when it's cold."
With their move, the guys are also hoping to help out the community by being able to offer more, good-paying jobs.
"We're looking to add some robotics jobs and just keep advancing in the technology we have, so that maybe we can try to attract some people to move into the community, which is going to be good for the entire community," said Ballard.
Ballard is the owner who mainly takes care of the hiring the employees. He says another factor that drew them to Detroit Lakes was the potential to expand their workforce.
"I know employees are hard to find right now for everybody," said Rasmussen, adding that as soon as they are up and running, they welcome people to come check them out. An open house is also planned, but a date won't be set until the building is closer to completion.
"We're always looking for new people that want to work...and wants to be part of a team. If someone's interested, they can feel free to contact myself or Travis," said Rasmussen.