Jalco Ltd. took over and adapted an existing business in June 2008. Adapting and extending it to customer requirements.
Jim Dowman has a valuable 48 Years in the timber trade that included running a large moulding factory. He has been involved for 22 years as board member of Vincent House Trust, and another 13 years volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Jim and his wife Ann met through Habitat 11 years ago and together lead building teams around the world as well as supporting local Habitat affiliates in Tauranga and EBOP.
Jim and Ann are organizing another Habitat team in June to Kuching, East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. The two week build from 11-25 June is sure to be a memorable experience helping folks get a new home and learning about indigenous Malaysian culture. If you are interested in learning more about the build, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out www.habitat.org.nz for more information about Habitat.
Jalco’s Manager, Leyton Dowman, (Jim’s son) started off his trade as a mechanic and went on to manage the timber processing projects for Vincent House’s factory.
To give you a broad view of Jalco Ltd’s heart, here is an article from JOINERS Magazine September 09.
Jalco Logo Helping those in need
The owners of Jalco Ltd & the Vincent House Trust combine to help the less fortunate
The North Island town of Te Puke is well known as being in the heart of the kiwifruit industry but it is also known as the home of the Vincent House Trust established in 1987 to initially provide residential help for those in need and since 2003 for those who are mentally challenged. Initiated by the Te Puke Baptist Church and their then Minister David Metcalf to solve the acute shortage of accommodation for needy teenagers and young adults in the district, it became a reality with a donation of land from Rob and Joy Vincent – hence the name Vincent House. The original buildings on the site were actually an old motel that sat in front of H W Hooper Ltd a timber processing business (now PurePine) not far from the present Vincent House site that were donated by the then managers of Hoopers.
Over the following years through government and lottery grants, private donations and much voluntary work Vincent House has grown considerably. In 1995 Vincent House became a Charitable Trust and assumed non profit status. After 2003 Vincent House moved to become a facility to handle solely male mentally challenged people (consumers as they are known) achieving Mental Health certification under the auspices of the Mental Health system shortly thereafter. Today some 25 to 30 people at any one time are looked after at Vincent House.
Finding work for young people and later consumers had always been an issue. From the start a factory training centre was established to give them work skills and help reintegrate them back into society where possible. The mainstay of this centre has been the making of art stretchers. When H W Hooper Ltd decided to no longer make them Jim Dowman (now the owner of Jalco Ltd) was instrumental in Vincent House producing them instead. Today they are made for two key outlets: Main Art in Auckland and Art Spectrum in Australia with the all the profits going to the upkeep of Vincent House. This operation has been vital to helping consumers “towards employment opportunities”.
In more recent times the factory facility has been moved to a purpose built building located at the back of the original No.3 Rd site. This new factory site is used to produce primarily art stretchers as well as smaller projects such as trellis, outdoor wooden furniture and dowelling as and when the work becomes available. This factory was built with various grants and the help of many suppliers including dust extraction specialists from Auckland Viking (1998) Ltd who installed their dust extraction system.
Viking’s Lester Smith comments “It was an interesting project for us because of what Vincent House represents. We were proud to have been involved.” The system installed caters for both present and future needs. The system employed was a reverse blow cleaning dust extraction system with a Viking SMM040 fan unit providing for a total air volume of 7500m3/hour. Inline silencers were also installed to cater for boundary noise attenuation.
Along side the factory development has been the involvement of Jim Dowman and his son Leyton through their moulding and profiling operation down the road at Jalco Ltd. Formerly known as Westmould and renamed Jalco Ltd some fifteen months ago when they bought it, Jalco produces some 40,000 cubic metres of product for both New Zealand and Australian clients from its 1200 square metre factory site. Nearly 90% of this is finished pine material. They also service a number of clients who get them to process wood lots for panels and sarking, flooring and furniture. With oversight from Jim his son Leyton and his wife Cherie run the day to day operation. “Pine picture framing amongst other things is a big part of what we produce” comments Leyton. “We also produce the finished stretcher bar components required for the Vincent House operation.”
Jalco have a range of machinery including a Weinig planer/moulder, an optimizer, multi rip and two band saws on the factory floor. “When we took over the site we got Viking in to do the Vincent House project and also to install a new extraction system at Jalco as well. We produce a lot of sawdust and shavings here – up to three bin loads a days in peak production so a good system to meet this and health safety standards was required.” Leyton explains. The system installed was similar to that at the Vincent House site but larger being a reverse blow cleaning unit with a modular dust extraction system with a Viking SMK050 fan unit with the capability to handle 20,000m3/hour. This system services their planer and resaw machines.
Jim Dowman has been intimately involved in Vincent House from its inception. “To help Vincent House with its funding issues we often do their profiling at cost and allowed Vincent House to make a profit. Single contracts are passed on to them as well. After some initial opposition to Vincent House the whole community has now got in behind it when they saw the good results it was having. Our aim has been to see this facility as self sufficient as possible.” Jim comments. In 2007 the Vincent House concept was expanded to include another facility in Rangiuru which has been named Dowman Lodge in recognition of Jim’s contribution over the years.