New shop to double JMT Industries' work space

JMT Industries plans to build a new machine shop on land it is buying in southeast Wichita, which will double its space.

Jorge Montoya-Blas, president of JMT Industries, has asked the Wichita City Council to rezone the land from office-warehouse to general commercial in order for the plan to move forward.

If the zoning is approved, the sale will close this week, Montoya-Blas said.

Montoya-Blas said he has seen the cyclic swings in the aircraft industry during his two decades of business.

"This is the worst I have seen in my life," he said. "I know it's going to come back again, and we want to be ready for that."

His main customer is Cessna Aircraft, which has been hit hard by the downturn. JMT Industries, which employs three people, also does some work for Shenyang Aircraft Corp. and is working to secure more business.

"I need more customers," Montoya-Blas said.

Eventually, Montoya-Blas wants to build a 10,000 square foot building on the property. First, he must hire an engineering company for the planning and design work, he said.

"It's going to be a slow process," Montoya-Blas said.

JMT Industries is now located in 5,000 square-feet of space at 1937 S. Mead.

In 2006, Montoya-Blas, a native of Peru, received the Kansas Department of Commerce's minority-owned business award.

Long term, the plans are to take half of the land and build a clinic for his wife, Natalia, a local physician.

"That's going to happen, but not in the next three years," Montoya-Blas said.