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Kansas-Based IST Offers One-Stop Service for Food Processing Sector

Apr 19, 2024

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Industrial Service Technologies (IST) specializes in turn-key design, manufacturing and installation services for food production clients and other manufacturing operations nationwide, with company headquarters and its metal fabrication division based in Tonganoxie.

IST’s recent growth to meet evolving demand in the industry included construction of a 6,400-square-foot facility in Tonganoxie with options to expand as the company grows. The new facility and corporate headquarters cover over nine acres in the Kansas City-area community, with three facilities and over 25,000-square-feet of manufacturing and metal services on one city street. The $6.8 million project also added 37 new jobs. 

CEO Ricky Paradise said most everyone in key IST leadership positions previously worked in food processing plants, so they know full well how to work with those businesses to help improve their operations. Paradise also is managing partner of The Harvest Group, which invested in IST – and other great businesses – to create new, sustainable futures for the companies.

Paradisesaid IST offers one-of-a-kind solutions in a two-fold way: one side of the business involves production of equipment for food processors, while the other side focuses on skilled millwright services with one of the largest millwright teams in the region and possibly the nation. These highly skilled workers are experts at putting machinery or equipment into place with the flexibility to meet a timeline that best suits the customer.

“(Customers) get really skilled help on demand when they need it,” Paradise said. “A talented and driven IST team makes that happen.”

The Kansas Department of Commerce has delivered training-based support for IST through the Kansas Industrial training (KIT) program, which is available to firms with net new job creation. Through KIT, IST is equipping its workers with more modern technology to help them be more efficient and effective in the field — often with digital solutions — as they address customers’ unique needs.

IST’s success reflects a key initiative of the Kansas Framework for Growth – the state’s economic development strategic plan – in helping companies leverage advanced manufacturing technologies to be more competitive in a growing and evolving global marketplace. The growth of the advanced manufacturing sector has been a significant force in Kansas’ run of record-breaking economic development successes.

With its state-of-the-art manufacturing campus, highly skilled workforce and strong sense of community and collaboration, IST has its own strong foundation for success in Kansas. In playing the long game, the company has a number of scholarship opportunities and sponsorships at the local high school as they look to build relationships and encourage young Kansans to stay home for excellent job opportunities.

“We believe deeply in the community,” Paradise said. “What’s good for Tonganoxie is good for IST, and what’s good for IST is good for Tonganoxie.”