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September 14, 2018

Waterville company, named 3rd fastest growing in state, expects to add 150 jobs

Maureen Milliken
Maureen Milliken
F3 MFG, a manufacturer of truck bodies that was named Maine's third fastest-growing company by Inc. magazine, said it plans to add 60 jobs by the end of the year and another 90 next year. It has tripled its revenue over three years, recording sales of $10.7 million in 2017.

A Waterville manufacturing firm that was named Maine's third fastest-growing company by Inc. magazine said it plans to add 60 jobs by the end of the year and another 90 next year.

F3 MFG has shown 363% revenue growth over three years and is at $10.7 million in 2017. It was 1,317 overall on the Inc. list, released in August.

"We are pleased to be recognized on a statewide and national level, and we credit our success to our innovative, driven team," said Joyce Galea, one of three owners of F3 MFG.

The firm manufactures lightweight aluminum truck and van bodies and is "at the forefront" of the market shift from steel to strong aluminum in the truck and van body industry, according to a news release.

The company, which was formed in 2016 and was previously Magnum Manufacturing Inc., operates out of the former Wyandotte Mill on Trafton Road in Waterville. It has grown from 14 employees in January 2016 to a current 100. The vehicle bodies, branded DuraMag and Magnum, are 45-50% lighter than steel bodies, generating significant fuel consumption and maintenance benefits without rust, the company said.

"F3 MFG's revenue growth is mirrored by job growth, with 60 new hires expected by the end of the year, bringing 2018's total employment to 160 employees," the release said.

"With the expansion of our national presence, we expect to employ 250 people in 2019, generating sales in excess of $30 million," said Bill Cleaves, one of the owners.

The company's growth is also shown in its space needs — it's expanded into additional industrial workspace at the Trafton Properties building. In two years, the company has increased its production space from 50,000 square feet to 150,000 square feet. Trafton Properties has also acquired permits for a new 120,000-square-foot building.

"F3 MFG's exponential growth is an exciting example of Waterville's historically rich manufacturing sector and the success and future potential of precision manufacturing in our region," said Garvan D. Donegan, director of planning and economic development at Central Maine Growth Council. "Moreover, F3 MFG epitomizes the development of Trafton Road as mid-Maine's newest logistics, manufacturing, and transportation hub."

Trafton Road, south of Waterville, near the Sidney line, has been growing as an industrial area with the help of a new off ramp off Interstate 95, Exit 124, which was completed last year.

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