Note: This is one story in a series looking at local businesses planning to expand in 2013. If you know of an Apple Valley business expanding this year, email MHaprov@VVDailyPress.com.
By Davida Siwisa James
APPLE VALLEY REVIEW
Nearly 20 years after opening its doors, Telexca Inc. has gone from leasing a 1,000-square-foot Hesperia facility to filling a 21,000-square-foot location in Apple Valley — adding employees and equipment along the way.
Roberto Brand speaks with pride of the recent expansion and new employees at his aerospace parts manufacturing company.
Brand, founder and president of Telexca, retired as an engineer in 1993 from Hughes Aircraft Company.
“I decided to put some of my knowledge to use by creating a small business that would assist engineers in the aerospace industry,” Brand said.
Major aircraft designers like Hughes and Lockheed Martin subcontract with companies to build the thousands of parts inside the aircraft. Those businesses then contract with smaller, yet vital, companies like Telexca to engineer and build many of those parts.
The company grew steadily. Yet Brand realized that with each move to a larger leased space, he was improving facilities only to leave those enhancements for the next tenant.
“In 2006, the opportunity to buy our own building came up,” said Brand. “We visited Apple Valley, and the installation that we are in now came up for sale.”
Telexca made the move from 5,000 square feet in Hesperia to a 14,000-square-foot building.
“The increased work in the past two years allowed us to expand based on projections by our customers,” Brand said.
The recent expansion includes leasing an additional 7,000 square feet in a building across the lane from them.
The company employs technicians and engineers who experiment with component materials, design and manufacture specialized parts out of high-temperature silicone rubber. One of the new contracts required them to develop the process to manufacture a graphite seal.
Brand has instilled a sense of loyalty in his employees, many of whom have been with him since the start.
Among those earliest employees are the president’s son, Victor Brand, and Augusta Manskey. Victor Brand manages the division that manufactures and tests all the prototypes. Manskey manages all administrative functions and trains new employees.
Telexca’s reputation for quality production is such that the army recently engaged them to build a special part for Humvees.
“The expansion also includes additional staff and more equipment,” said Roberto Brand of the seven new employees hired in the past year.
“With Telexca, I have found a home,” said new employee Lisa Chicaul, who finds working in the aerospace industry still new. “It was something I never thought about doing or even thought I could. I found them at a job fair, and they offered to train me.”
Brand described the electricians, plumbers, machinists, and a husband-wife delivery business, all of whom have prospered from Telexca’s new contracts.
Another Telexca employee of nine years, Tony Fischkelta, began with the company while in high school.
“I was getting ready to go to Cal Pomona for aerospace engineering,” said Fischkelta, a senior plastics technician. “Roberto has helped support me through continuing my education.”
The final stage of Telexca’s growth comes with their anticipated International Standards Organization certification this year. That additional quality certification will allow Telexca to negotiate directly with the major aircraft designers and skip the middlemen.