One of the car wash industry’s leading vendors says its products are so high-tech, they sometimes struggle to find qualified workers to staff its plants. Ryko Solutions CEO Steve L’Heureux told The Des Moines Register: “It’s one of the challenges, getting qualified people. Today’s manufacturing facilities are not the manufacturing facilities of our fathers.”
That’s why Ryko is working with a consortium of manufacturers in Iowa that received a $13 million Labor Department grant to train the regional labor force. And they have good reason — the industry is booming. Ryko has hired 30 percent more employees since 2011, growing to 500, and doubled revenue to $125 million over four years, the paper reported.
According to the Register:
In Grimes [Iowa], Ryko has gone through a sort of revival, ever since Miami-based Trivest Partners poured millions of dollars into it.
Ryko officials say it has become the largest car wash manufacturer in North America, and the second-largest in the world. It recently announced an acquisition of a Canada-based company that owns a 40,000-square-foot building.
The company, which has built more than 14,000 car washes worldwide, has more than 125 versions of soap for its different machines.
Ryko builds its systems as orders come in. The company employs roughly 250 service technicians, sent worldwide and locally to work on car washes at stores such as Hy-Vee, Mills Fleet Farm and Kum & Go.