Colorado Springs-based builder The Challenger Group's subsidiary Key Structures is opening a startup plant in Pueblo, Colo. to manufacture prefabricated components and units for low- to high-end housing.
The company is currently working to acquire the former O'Neal Steel building, totaling 62,000 square feet, with the ultimate hope of building a new plant on the site. The Pueblo Chieftain reports that operations are expected to be at full capacity by spring 2019, and there will be 125 positions to fill, for an average salary of $39,532 plus benefits. "We will be providing training to people who are unskilled. We will be providing benefits. We will be providing a career path to them that they might not otherwise have. So that's very exciting," says Challenger Group founder Brian Bahr.
Prefabricated housing is a growing trend in the building industry. Last month, Amazon announced plans to use money from its Alexa Fund to invest in California prefab builder Plant Prefab. On Tuesday, The Denver Post ran a lengthy article on the growing popularity of prefabricated housing in the West. It represents a new product line for Challenger. The company started its on-site, non-prefabricated home construction business in May 2000 and now ranks as one of the largest builders in the Colorado Springs area. In May 2018, Professional Builder Magazine ranked Challenger the 116th largest home builder in the nation.