Johns Manville celebrates 40 years in McPherson with Chamber ribbon cutting Friday

By Nick Gosnell
October 10, 2014
Nick Gosnell

A McPherson Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting was held to rededicate the Johns Manville facility in McPherson and to celebrate Johns Manville's 40th year in the city.

As part of the ceremony, McPherson Plant Manager Greg Stockstill gave a brief history of the plant.

"In 1974, Johns Manville had the foresight to build an insulation plant in McPherson, Kansas. The town made a perfect location to build a plant because of the combination of the relative low and stable energy prices, the close proximity to a railroad, two major highways I-35 and I-70, a centralized location in the United States, the ability to reach every corner of the country with relative ease for shipments, and a strong, steady and dependable workforce."

"The management of Johns Manville and our city's founding fathers had a vastly different view of the world back then than we have now. The Dow Jones average was operating at a high of 950 points, it's now around sixteen or seventeen thousand. Gas was 53 cents a gallon. A stamp was 10 cents, and life expectancy was about 72 years of age."

"The output of our plant back in those days was between five and ten truckloads a day. Today we ship between forty and fifty trucks a day out of this plant. The vision and faith our corporate and city leaders had during that time period have proven to be very insightful. Our plant has now been successfully operating and supporting Johns Manville and this McPherson community for over 40 years."

"Johns Manville has navigated through several peaks and valleys in an ever-changing environment. We are now in the Berkshire Hathaway family of businesses, that supports both our local and nationwide economies. The plant and company has helped support its employees as we raised our families, put food on the table, paid our bills, put our children through school. Johns Manville, basically, gave us a chance to realize the American dream."

"Changing with the times is a challenge for all businesses, and trying to supply goods and services to a continually evolving market is very difficult at times.  But, this McPherson facility has proven to be a plant that people can count on as a reliable partner. Our greatest asset is the people that work in our plant. And, our greatest support system is our Johns Manville leadership."

"I'm proud and humbled to be in this plant for these 40 years. It's been an amazing journey, for not only me, but for the hundreds of people that have worked inside these walls. So, we want to honor and thank the people who currently work here and the many people that have served us so well leading up to this time in history. And, we hope we continue to provide goods and services for another 40 years."