A distributor of decorative fences and gates is expanding manufacturing operations in Howard County and plans to add 50 new jobs over the next two years.
Iron World said Thursday it will invest $1 million to streamline its operations and cut costs to increase sales and boost production by 300 percent.
The state Commerce Department has approved a $300,000 conditional loan through the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund to help with costs such as new equipment. The company also is eligible for tax credits such as the state's Job Creation Tax Credit and will receive a workforce training grant from the Howard County Economic Development Authority.
Iron World's products, made from raw steel, can be found at the Pentagon, Washington Monument and Nationals Park and on bridges and at schools throughout the United States.
The company had $3.5 million in sales as of December. It plans to add storage, a new automated routing machine and an additional panel assembly machine. It operates its own fleet of delivery trucks.
"We are thankful for the help in automating our manufacturing operations to ship steel and aluminum fence panels around the country," said Richard Stellabuto, president of Iron World, in the announcement.
The expansion will help strengthen the county's manufacturing hub along the Route 1 corridor, Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman said in the announcement.
"This expansion, and the 50 new jobs it will create, is a win for our state as we work to provide new and better opportunities for hardworking Marylanders," said Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement.