Our Community K.I Sawyer: From former Air Force Base to one of Marquette’s biggest manufacturers

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K.I SAWYER, Mich. (WJMN) – Superior Extrusion started in 1996, but has existed in its current location since 1998. They started with one press. In 2008, they added a second press and in 2018, came number three. 2021 marks the addition of their fourth press and expansion of company property.

“We’re just happy that a lot of those families that started with us back in ’98 and the early 2000’s are still with us,” George LaBlonde III, Chairman of the Board for Superior Extrusion, Inc. said. “It’s a testament to our employees and what we try to do. Between the benefits, and the pay, we want to continue to do that. And by expanding, we’re going to continue to do that.”

George started with the company in 2010, and joined the board in 2012, following in his father’s footsteps, now leaving his own mark on the company.

“It’s just a great opportunity to see something develop and see something grow. You take it from one building. Two individuals turned into six. Now we’re at 177 and should be well over 200 by the time we get this next press in.”

LaBlonde said every time they add a building they have to move a road. So this time they looked at a 15-year strategic plan to help decide what to do with the land that’s there.

The expansion consists of 16 acres of property with room for 3 additional presses after this 4th press is complete. The new construction will be one large building compared to three separate buildings they currently operate in.

“This place started off as a dream, turned into a vision, then became reality,” Myron DeBolt, Co-Founder of SEI said.

“We knew we had a good concept,” Randy DeBolt, Co-Founder of SEI said. “We didn’t know where it was going. We knew it would take a lot of work to make it happen and it’s still happening.”

Dan Caya, a Maintenance Manager, has been with the company since it opened.

“Superior Extrusion has been growing since ’98 in ten-year increments. It’s been expanding and we’ve been adding on equipment every year since then,” Caya said. “I’ve grown with the owners. I’ve grown with Upper Management. I started in maintenance and grew into the Maintenance Manager position. I’ve grown with all the employees in the whole company.”

Randy DeBolt says it’s been gratifying and everyone between the water department, airport, and everyone else knows each other by the first name.

“We’ve come a long way from 6 or 7 employees. We like to treat our employees almost like family,” said Myron DeBolt. “All the place is is concrete, steel and air leaks without people. They’re our greatest asset.”

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