A Lincoln company that manufactures products mostly for use by the U.S. Navy has unveiled a large expansion.
Pacific Engineering Inc. has more than doubled the size of its production facility just outside the city limits near U.S. 77 and Saltillo Road.
The company added 20,000 square feet of space across the street from its existing headquarters at 1074 Saltillo, bringing its total footprint to 35,000 square feet.
In addition to more manufacturing space, the expansion added offices, conference rooms and more computer-aided design systems.
"As you all know, PEI is a small contractor," President Osie Combs told attendees at a ribbon cutting Thursday. "We are not going to be small long."
Dexter Myers, the company's vice president, said it currently has 15 employees, and with the expansion, it plans to hire 30 more over the next few years.
PEI makes components for Navy ships and submarines that are made out of composite materials that are lighter than steel and just as durable. It also has manufactured a composite truck trailer for the Marine Corps.
The company has worked through the government's Small Business Innovation Research program to develop new products for the military, including launch cradles and composite canisters for torpedo interceptor systems on ships.
PEI has received more than $7.4 million in federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants since 2011, which the State of Nebraska has matched with approximately $332,000. It has leveraged that money to get tens of millions of dollars worth of military contracts.
Myers said the grants have allowed the small company to accelerate innovation and reduce risk as it has developed and produced products.
“This has enabled us to create more jobs and boost our future production here in Nebraska,” he said.
Nebraska is happy to play host to PEI and also happy to help.
"Pacific Engineering’s achievements exemplify the success and economic growth we, as a state, can expect to achieve when you combine Nebraska innovation, our world-class workforce, business-friendly communities and support to help businesses succeed,” Lt. Gov Mike Foley said.