Photo caption: Drake Cement company’s expansion of facilities resulted in significant increases in employees and payroll during the past five years. Company executives remain confident that upward growth will continue.
Drake Cement LLC has exceeded earlier predictions and continues to grow. It is located about 26 miles north of Prescott on Highway 89.
Payroll almost doubled from $4-5 million from five years ago to an estimated $8 million in 2018. Entry-level jobs begin at $16 an hour, with full benefits. The workforce grew in the past five years from about 80 or so to 107 local employees in the Chino Valley-Paulden area.
Another 16 persons are involved in administration, accounting and sales at corporate headquarters in Scottsdale. The parent company is in Peru.
David Chavez, Drake Vice President for Environment, Health and Safety and Compliance, said, because of expansion, it’s not just employee ranks that grew. So did the physical plant, especially in improved plant efficiency, maintenance, employee training and safety.
“Economic indicators forecast continued growth,” he said.
Drake recently constructed a training facility and locker rooms with showers for employees. Construction of a sophisticated maintenance shop adjacent to existing offices and the control room area where mechanical, maintenance and support personnel can perform plant repairs is planned. Expansion of electrical facilities is also scheduled.
Drake CEO Enrique Rozas and Drake Director of Cement Operations Lawrence “Tony” Turner said the cement manufacturing plant has major success in Arizona. Rozas said, “Drake has captured 30 percent of the Arizona cement and aggregate market. We’re supplying cement to a couple of other companies, too. Demand continues to grow.”
The Drake plant opened in June 2011. It produces two kinds of cement—Type II for general use and Type V, which has a low alkaline content. Both types of Portland cement are manufactured in a “closed loop” system, which means that virtually no gaseous or particulate emissions occur. The plant can produce up to 2,000 tons a day.
Most cement produced is trucked to Maricopa County.
Both executives emphasized employee acceptance of the company’s stated values: “Safety, Excellence, Respect and Value.”
Karen Otis, administrative and community involvement coordinator for Drake, just finished her 11th year with Drake. She said company involvement in and support of the greater community continues to increase.
Otis mentioned that Drake Cement supports community groups and organizations, including the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Historical Society, the Senior Events Center, and similar groups. In addition, employees support the Chino Valley Police Department, local schools and Future Farmers of America. They also are active in the Yavapai County Education Foundation, the Yavapai County Spelling Bee, Habitat for Humanity, Women in Business, and several Quad City job fairs.
Chavez commented, “We want Drake to be viewed as more than just a major employer. It is a positive community asset.”
More information about Drake Cement LLC is available online at www.drakeus.com.