Site Selection: How Springfield Became the Stainless Steel Capital of the U.S.

Just one location in the U.S. produces the vast majority of the stainless-steel equipment used in the beverage and food processing, pharmaceutical, dairy and chemicals industries, according to a new article by the Site Selection team.

It’s Southwest Missouri — the Springfield area, specifically. You won’t find another region with so many manufacturers of components and containers used in commercial kitchens, dairy farms, laboratories and breweries anywhere. More than 30 companies are active in the stainless-steel business in greater Springfield, employing a combined workforce of about 3,000.

Why Springfield? Because that’s where Paul Mueller opened his heating and sheet metal business in 1940. The rest is history.

“Stainless steel fabrication and craftsmanship became dominant in Springfield shortly after WWII when dairy farmers were required to store their milk in refrigerated stainless-steel tanks,” explains Greg Herren, general manager of Multi-Craft Contractors, a provider of electrical, mechanical, sheet metal and other specialized services in Springfield. “Already having experience building stainless steel poultry containers, the Paul Mueller Company joined in with 60-plus other companies around the world and began building what is known as the stainless-steel, refrigerated milk cooler. Mueller became very successful and grew rapidly in Springfield, becoming one of the largest employers in the region.”

Check out the full article from the Site Selection team here.

For more information on Missouri’s advanced manufacturing industry check out our industry webpage, or contact Steve Johnson, CEO of Missouri Partnership, at 314.725.2688 or via our contact form. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have, and show you how Missouri Partnership can help with your business expansion, collaboration and investment needs.

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