WICHITA KS – Balco, Inc., a Wichita-based manufacturer of high performance construction products, has been honored with the President’s “E” Award for Exports, recognizing four consecutive years of increased exports.
The award was presented Monday, May 16, by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Balco was the only Kansas company to receive an “E” Award this year, joining about 100 companies across the country who met the four-year export growth threshold.
“Balco has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion,” Secretary Pritzker said in her congratulatory letter. “The “E” Awards committee was very impressed with Balco’s customization of its product line to fit the needs of customers in export markets. The company’s creativity in overcoming trade barriers was also particularly notable. Balco’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the US economy and create American jobs.”
Balco’s success in export growth is an example for the south-central Kansas region and the State of Kansas, noted Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell.
“Export growth is a key to our long term economic health,” Mayor Longwell said. “Companies such as Balco recognize the importance of the international marketplace. Their success is an essential ingredient in the economic development strategy embraced by the Greater Wichita Partnership.”
Balco also has played a leadership role in the formation of the South Central Kansas Regional Export Plan, sharing its success story to inspire other companies to follow the same path, according to Karyn Page, CEO and President of Kansas Global Trade Services.
“Balco provides a real life example of how exports protect jobs and spur economic growth,” Page said. “Importantly, the company is committed to sharing its success story to encourage others down the same path.”
Balco’s export growth success is the result of a strategic decision in 2011 aimed at protecting its workforce from the economic downturn, according to Steve Cooper, Balco’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
“When times were tough, we doubled down on a plan to grow rather than to scale back like many other companies,” Cooper said. “We doubled our domestic market share and tripled our export business because we kept our staff intact. We grew from shipping to a handful of countries before 2011 to an existing count of 49 countries.”
Balco is an industry leader in the development of high performance construction products such as expansion joint covers and fire barriers, entrance mats and egress path systems. Its products are designed to protect structures, occupants and First Responders during earthquakes, fires, storms or other similar threats.
Balco is one of the businesses in CSW Industrials, a Dallas TX-based diversified industrial growth company.