Fencing company to expand manufacturing hub in Algodones

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If you’ve ever seen a NASCAR race, you’ve probably seen the large catchfence separating man from machine.

Swiss company Geobrugg has had operations in New Mexico for decades. They make fencing for NASCAR and other purposes.

Now, they’re joining the state’s recent manufacturing boom with plans to expand their decadeslong operations.

Geobrugg North America opened its doors in Santa Fe in 1985. Then, in 2011, the company moved to Algodones. Seven years later, they expanded for the first time to capitalize on prime real estate.

“We have immediate access on and off of I-25, plus all points north. Then, we can go down where we got the Big-I all points east and west. Logistically, it’s a good area. It’s at the tail end of the Rockies, so a lot of our business is in mountainous areas – California, Appalachian Mountains,” explained Pierce Runnels, the president and general manager of Geobrugg North America.

Many of the company’s projects are done out of state and around the world. No matter where the project is done, it brings back millions of dollars to New Mexico.

That includes $8.8 million for their second expansion in 12 years. Geobrugg is planning to build a 20,000-square-foot factory and 4,000 feet of office space.

All of that will grow their workforce by 60 jobs.

The state of New Mexico is behind it too. They’re putting $500,000 toward growing the business into what it’s become.

“We’re not able to get all the way through the factory floor with a forklift. We have to go in and out and around doors and stuff. Our business growth is calling for this new expansion,” Runnels said.

In July, the company put up fencing for the first NASCAR street course race. They’ve also done fencing for IndyCar’s Music City Grand Prix in Nashville and F1’s Miami Grand Prix.

It keeps people close to the action – but not too close.

Here in New Mexico, their fencing keeps boulders away from mountainous roads and wildfire debris away from watersheds.

“The Santa Clara Pueblo had a really bad problem with debris flow, that we put in four debris flow nets up there. Then, not long after that, we did a project in Nambe. Of course, recently, there were those big fires [Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak Fire, Cerro Pelado Fire],” Runnels said.

The company’s multi-million-dollar, top-to-bottom investment in New Mexico is just one of many touted this month alone.

Runnels projects they won’t be the last ones.

“I think our future is very bright in New Mexico. We intend to keep investing in New Mexico. And I expect that we will see some of our sister companies more and more moving to New Mexico. We intend to make it a manufacturing hub for the root companies,” Runnels said.

According to Runnels, Geobrugg North America’s $14 million economic impact will likely double with the upcoming expansion.