Friday, June 25, 2010

Hospital Contract Brings New Jobs to Pilot Steel

Ray Assmar said Wednesday that Pilot Steel, his nine-year-old Owensboro metal fabrication company, has landed a contract for providing 900 tons of fabricated steel to be used in construction of the $385 million hospital Owensboro Medical Health System is building on Daniels Lane.

And that will create 10 new jobs at the company.

"That will be enough work to keep 20 to 30 men busy through the end of February," he said. "We'll have to bring in a few more people."

Employment at the company owned by Ray and Susan Assmar has ranged from a high of 25 to a low of 10 in the past year, Assmar said.

"We're at 18 now," he said. "And we're going to need to add 10 more for this project."

Fabrication of the steel should start in mid- to late July, and he'll need to bring in new people sometime in August, he said.

"We'll have to go to two, maybe three shifts," Assmar said. "This will keep us busy while we're looking for other jobs to bid on. It takes a lot of pressure off."

The company has 70,000-square feet of manufacturing space on 15 acres along the Ohio River at 2301 Triad Drive on the western edge of Owensboro.

Pilot Steel is a company Owensboro almost lost in 2005.

By that year, it had outgrown its space at 3108 Fairview Drive and was looking at out-of-town sites.

"We were offered a building in Lexington," Assmar said that year. "But the mayor (Tom Watson) went to bat for us and helped us get this facility in Owensboro. I'm just happy we could stay in Owensboro."

Local projects done by Pilot Steel include the ice arena, the new downtown parking garage and the east office building at The Springs.

Keith Lawrence, 691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com