Aurora manufacturer is wired for success


AURORA | There’s a good chance one of the devices in your pocket relies on a printed circuit board in some way.

And there’s also a pretty good chance that the circuit board was manufactured overseas where low wages allow massive tech firms to churn out circuit boards on the cheap.

That’s part of what makes Advanced Circuits in northeast Aurora unique: In an industry dominated by cheaper foreign manufacturing, Advanced Circuits has planted its flag in Aurora, cranking out thousands of high-tech circuit boards each day from its plant near Interstate 70 and Tower Road.

And the company is doubling-down on its “Made in America” ethos, opening a massive, 52,000 square foot new wing at its Aurora headquarters early this year.

“We believe in ‘made in the USA’ and we try not to go outside to make more money by sending the work to China,” said John Yacoub, the company’s president and CEO.

The new expansion grows the company’s Aurora facility, 21303 E. 32nd Parkway, to more than 113,000 square feet. Yacoub said the new facility is mostly offices and some warehouse space that will allow the company to convert its old office space to manufacturing. The Aurora facility is the company’s headquarters, but they also have specialty facilities in Minnesota and Arizona.

Hopefully, Yacoub said, the Aurora expansion will allow the company to add about 50 new employees to its staff of 274. Already last year they added 20 employees last year in preparation for the expansion.

“We are going to continue to grow,” he said.

While the rebounding economy has left some businesses gun-shy when it comes to large-scale expansion projects, Advanced Circuits has moved ahead with its growth plans. In the past three years, they have invested more than $10 million in the Aurora facility, including $7 million in the past year.

Yacoub said steady revenue growth has made that possible, as the company grew from about $3 million in revenues when he joined Advanced Circuits in 1996 to more than $100 million last year.

Wendy Mitchell, president and CEO of the Aurora Economic Development Council, said the company’s growth makes it an important part of the city’s business landscape.

“With its nearly 25 percent growth rate over the past five years, addition of 48 employees in the last two years, and zero layoffs in the company’s history, Advanced Circuits is a highly valued member of our community,” she said.

To make sure Advanced Circuits expanded in Aurora and didn’t move elsewhere, the city chopped the sales and use tax the company paid on new equipment and materials for the expansion. Yuriy Gorlov, business development manager at AEDC, said the incentive will total about $100,000 for the company.

Yacoub said the company received incentive offers from other cities that were arguably better, but opted to stay in Aurora because of the facility’s close proximity to Denver International Airport.

One of the ways the company is able to compete with others who have lower manufacturing costs is by shipping its circuit boards quickly, Yacoub said. The company guarantees on-time shipping and if they’re late, the product is free, he said.

The location in northeast Aurora means a delivery service can make Advanced their last stop of the day, so they have extra time on rush orders.

“On their way to the airport they make one more stop,” he said. “So its really allowed us to be flexible on the time.”

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9 years ago

It is long overdue! I wonder if some of the Chinese made chips, especially ones for the military, might have a feature wherein the Chinese might render a weapon useless.