$1.3 million loan will help KC wind company expand

A Kansas City manufacturer of components for wind turbine blades has received a $1.3 million loan from the state of Missouri to expand into a new building and add 10 jobs.

The loan was awarded Wednesday to Gasket Engineering, a nearly 70-year-old firm that produces wind turbine, vehicle and locomotive parts for customers in North America, Asia, Europe and South America, according to the Missouri State Treasurer's office.

The additional jobs will bring total employment at the company to 126.

"As technology grows and changes, Gasket Engineering is finding new and interesting projects that allow us to expand our business and provide more jobs," David McLerran, the company's vice president of operations and finance, said in a statement.

Gasket Engineering, formed in 1942, said it has grown rapidly in the past two years because of the increased demand for wind energy turbine blades.

The funding was provided through the Missouri Linked Deposit Program, which supports job growth among small businesses and farmers. Morrill and Janes Bank partnered with the state on the financing.

Qualifying borrowers, including businesses with up to 99 employees, can save 30 percent on the cost of the loan. For Gasket Engineering, that represents saving $105,000 in interest costs over the next five years, the state said.

The Kansas City region has received more than $56 million in linked-deposit loans through the program since January 2009.