How did Keene Building Products get its start?
Keene was started in 2002 as an importer but quickly began development of its production line. Although educated as an accountant, Jim Keene, the founder, became involved in the engineering of the system to produce the materials — a unique plastic extrusion process. Sales were simple since he was involved with many of the customers in the market.
Why was the decision made to locate in Euclid?
Jim’s home town is Richmond Heights, up the hill, but his father and mother went to Euclid High School. Euclid is a great place to manufacture, and Jim wanted to be a manufacturer.
How are the products that you manufacture used?
Keene Building Products is a manufacturer of three-dimensional filament products for the construction industry. Its noise products are designed for construction projects, such as multi-family apartments and condominiums to stop impact and airborne noise, while its building-envelope products can be utilized in wall, masonry, roofing, and foundation applications to eliminate moisture issues.
Starting as a plastic manufacturing company in 2002, Keene has innovated new construction tools in an effort to improve product performance for the market. At first, it only manufactured entangled net products in applications that had coatings and concrete all around them. Today, its capabilities include blending powders and creating chemicals. In addition to plastics extrusion, the company has expanded its expertise to floor-preparation products, below-grade systems, roofing, plastic fabricating and 3D filament.
How many employees work in the facility in Euclid?
30 employees but it will be increasing to 50 in the near future.
Tell us about your building expansion. How many square feet and why?
25,000 square feet for warehouse purposes that will allow us more room for manufacturing.
Are there ways that the company participates in the community?
Not yet!! We will soon.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that manufacturing currently faces?
What does the future of manufacturing, especially in Northeast Ohio, look like?
The future is very bright here but we need to educate our young people better. Our schools are not up to par, and our workforce doesn’t graduate ready for the positions we need to fill.
What inspires you?
Helping the people in our organization realize their career and financial goals.
Are there any interesting facts about Keene Building that most people don’t know?
- Weatherhead 100 four years running
- Two businesses in the award
- Holder of 20 patents either issued or pending
- Family business with other family members as part of the team
- More likely to sell product on one of the coasts, with full North American coverage and sales in every state