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More than 250 jobs are headed to Boonville.

Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp. announced Wednesday it will expand its operations in Missouri by opening a manufacturing facility in Cooper County at the former Nordyne manufacturing plant.

The new facility will help the company meet increasing demand for general purpose engines used in lawn and garden products.

President/CEO of Kawasaki Joe Tabata spoke at Wednesday’s event. He has worked for Kawasaki since 1988 and directed the Maryville, Missouri, plant from 1997 to 2004.

Tabata said customers are asking for more Kawasaki engines and the Boonville plant will help deliver higher-level products.

Gigi Quinlan McAreavy, the director of economic development in Boonville/Cooper County, said the new expansion of the Kawasaki plant in Boonville is exciting for everyone in the town.

“Kawasaki is a world known company. We are excited they chose us. They are working to get up and running pretty fast at the beginning of 2022. It depends on hiring,” McAreavy said.

President of Industrial Development Authority in Cooper County Ken Hirlinger said he sees Kawasaki as the “glue” for the new expansion.

“This is an exciting time for Kawasaki to come to Boonville,” Hirlinger said.

The average wage of the positions being created at the Boonville facility is well above the average for the county, according to a news release.

“Kawasaki is excited about the expansion to the Boonville community, which will alleviate high demand at Maryville and enable our business to grow and increase capacity,” Corporate Deputy Director of Administration for Kawasaki and Maryville Plant Manager Anita Coulter said. “We were fortunate to find a location that has a hometown feel and strong work ethic, as displayed by the dedication of Boonville leaders.”

Work on the new facility is set to begin this month, with the start of production planned for May 2022.

Kawasaki has used the state’s training programs for nearly 30 years, most recently creating 110 new jobs in Maryville in 2020 with assistance from Missouri One Start. It also has another facility in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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