No Place Like Home
A Nebraska business man returned to his hometown in Indiana to expand his business and bring more jobs to the place where he got his start.
Plymouth native, Dave Ferguson took his first job at a local the mobile home manufacturer, Shamrock Homes. At 17-years-old Ferguson began at the bottom of the totem pole, “I spent two summers sweeping floors,” Ferguson said.
Now, more than four decades later, the businessman owns the building he cleaned as a teenager.
Ferguson is co-owner of Stone Creek Manufacturing; the company makes manufactured homes and commercial structures for the gas and oil industry.
When Shamrock Homes shut down in mid-March, Ferguson says he knew he had to return to his roots.
“You you leave your home town you can feel it in your heart and your head when somebody needs you to come back and create a business to create jobs.” Ferguson said, “You have a commitment in your own home state and community.”
Ferguson looked at ten different facilities across the county as possible locations to expand his business to and Plymouth was not his best option.
“We looked at nine other facilities that were all more affordable facilities with more production capability,” Ferguson said.
Still, he felt the need to “pay-it-forward,” to help the people and the place who gave him his jump start to success.
“A lot of times you do an investment for a financial return, for us it was an emotional situation,” he said.
Ferguson said he had a special relationship with his late boss Pat Flynn Senior, the former owner and Ferguson’s old boss at Shamrock Homes.
“If it wasn’t for him and his inspirational talks, I wouldn’t be here today,” Ferguson said. “He believed in me.”
Ferguson wanted to give the people of Plymouth the confidence and motivation he gained during his time at Shamrock Homes.
PLYMOUTH---“It’s very disheartening to see the number of people out here in need of a job.” Ferguson said he received more than 500 applications for the 20 available positions at Stone Creek Manufacturing in Plymouth.
“The hardest job I think it looking for a job… It’s just too stressful there is just not enough jobs,” Tracy Kats said.
Kats was laid off from her manufacturing job in July of 2009, in fear of losing her home she put up a fight to get a position at Ferguson’s new company.
“The people that came to us said that we will work for anything,” Ferguson said.
Kats said she, like many others were starting to get desperate, “I told him just me a chance to prove myself I can outwork anybody.”
Ferguson not only gave Kats a chance, he gave her a job and hope for the future. Kats said, “He shows me that maybe one day I can work my way up.”
Kats has already been promoted from the floor to a manager position; she said she’s more confident and ambitious than ever.
As a whole Stone Creek has seen success early on, the company just got an order for 110 units and production is already underway and ahead of schedule in Plymouth.
“It’s a personal success for all of us, for the community, for the state of Indiana, for the facility and for everyone who works for us,” Ferguson said.