Sunday, July 14, 2024

Practical Metals breaks ground in Cresson: A new chapter begins

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Practical Metals, a division of Practical Building Systems, held a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday morning, June 24, at 900 North Cresson Highway in Cresson’s B & B Business Park. The event, marked by enthusiastic participation from local dignitaries, industry partners, and community members, is set to significantly impact the Cresson and Hood County economies and beyond. The Practical Metals facility, which will initially span 10,000 square feet, is scheduled to be operational by the beginning of the new year.

The ceremony began slightly later than planned, with attendees navigating morning traffic, but “…everything was on schedule,” confirmed Wade Turner, Co-founder and CEO of Practical Metals. “We waited a few minutes as people were still arriving, but overall, it was a timely start.”

Among the notable attendees was Cresson Mayor Ron Becker, who graced the occasion as the guest of honor and delivered an inspiring speech. Mayor Becker highlighted the positive economic impact and growth potential that Practical Metals brings to Cresson. In addition to Mayor Becker, the event saw participation from police officers, business partners, staff, and family members. A particularly moving moment was the arrival of Gunnery Sgt. (Ret) Aubrey McDade, a Navy Cross recipient and fellow Marine who served with Turner in Iraq.

Turner founded Practical Metals in partnership with Nate Roberts and his son, Chance Roberts, through a collaboration with their company, Asset Materials. The partnership is rooted in their shared Marine Corps background, though they did not serve together. Turner and Nate Roberts’ friendship and mutual respect culminated in forming Practical Building Systems. The merging of their expertise allows them to tackle market challenges and provide superior customer service. “We focus on a customer service model, building relationships with our clients to help them operate more efficiently with high-quality products,” Turner explained.

Turner and Co-Founders Nate Roberts and Chance Roberts took to the stage to address the crowd. “First and foremost, I want to thank Mayor Ron Becker and the people of Cresson for welcoming us and making us feel at home,” Turner said. He also thanked their industry partners, vendors, clients, and families for their unwavering support.

The weather was a cooperative partner for the day’s events. “Thank God for the breeze,” Turner joked, appreciating the favorable conditions accompanying the ceremony.

Practical Metals, part of the broader Practical Building Systems, specializes in manufacturing panels, flat sheets, trim components, and converting roll coil into products for commercial roofers and general contractors. While they occasionally take on residential projects like barndominiums and horse arenas, their primary market is commercial structures, including the current project of building a tabernacle.

Customer service is at the heart of Practical Metals’ business model. Turner emphasized the company’s focus on building strong client relationships, drawing inspiration from companies like Amazon. “We answer the phone, we take care of our clients, big or small. Speed and efficiency are the biggest names of the game,” Turner stated.

Choosing Cresson was both strategic and sentimental. “Cresson is set for significant growth, and we wanted to be part of that,” Turner said. “It’s a great place with friendly people, and its location allows us to distribute our products evenly throughout Texas.” The central location of the new facility aids in their goal to establish a national footprint in the coming years.

Turner envisions Practical Metals playing a vital role in the local community, especially regarding employment. Practical Metals is already reaching out to potential employees and preparing training programs for various departments to foster a positive company culture. “We want to bring back those old, traditional American business values where people truly enjoy their work,” Turner remarked.

As a service-disabled veteran-owned company, there is a strong commitment to hiring veterans and fostering a company culture where employees take pride in their work. “We practice what we preach,” Turner emphasized. “We want our employees to be proud to say they work for Practical Metals.”

Practical Metals has already begun the slow hiring process, targeting individuals with industry experience to head various departments. “We expect to be fully operational by the first of the year, with experienced staff in place,” Turner said.

Philanthropy is a crucial component of Practical Metals’ core values. Mayor Becker and the City Council will play a key role in helping the company contribute effectively to the community. Additionally, Turner and his wife, Cassandra, are actively involved in local educational initiatives, advocating for vocational skills alongside traditional academic pathways.

Working with local and industry partners is essential as Practical Metals begins this ambitious project. “Our competitors are also our partners,” Turner said, emphasizing the industry’s unique dynamic that encourages mutual growth and success.

Monday’s groundbreaking marks the beginning of a promising journey for Practical Metals, poised to bring innovation, employment, and economic growth to Cresson and beyond. With a steadfast commitment to quality and customer service, Practical Metals will significantly impact the metal manufacturing industry.