100 North Main Street
O'Fallon, MO 63366
Phone: 636-379-5532
Email: [email protected]

©2018-2021 City of O'Fallon, Missouri

Business Spotlight: True Manufacturing

Leading A Legacy of Growth and Community Partnership

True Manufacturing has experienced significant growth since 1945, when Bob, with his father Frank and brother, Art developed their first upright freezer in their garage in North St. Louis. As their business expanded, they needed more space. The increasing popularity of O’Fallon due to its appeal to families and businesses moving west attracted them. The strategic location along key transportation routes and the abundance of developable land in O’Fallon presented an ideal opportunity for their continued expansion.

Since moving to O’Fallon in 1972, the growth trajectory of True has been marked by several pivotal expansions. The Trulaske family’s strategic investments have consistently focused on quality. This strategy enables the company to attract a talented workforce from surrounding communities while building products that meet the demands of a global marketplace. This winning combination created a constant number of growth opportunities. The resulting expansion projects, especially early on, were made possible through True’s positive relationship with the city and the use of public financing tools like Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs), which fostered new capital investment and product innovation.

True Manufacturing now has more than 2.1 million square feet of manufacturing and distribution space in O’Fallon. True’s proximity to two interstate highways (I-64 and I-70) is considered a strategic advantage for managing product logistics both nationally and internationally.

“Our work with the city is a partnership. Just as we have experienced exceptional growth over the past 50+ years, so has the City of O’Fallon. The city and this company have grown up together, side by side, quite literally,” Ashley Nelson, Chief Human Resources Officer, True Manufacturing said.

City Collaboration is Key to Business Success

Communication and collaboration have been the key to success for True Manufacturing and the City of O’Fallon.  The city’s professional staff always coordinates with the True Manufacturing team on nearby road projects that could impact distribution schedules or employee commutes. This level of cooperation also extends water infrastructure improvements, where O’Fallon seeks to mitigate potential disruptions to True’s operations.

Having a direct line of communication between the city and True on capital projects and public investments ensures the company’s needs are addressed and concerns understood.

Nurturing Partnership, Continuing Education and Workforce Retention

The strong relationship between O’Fallon and True Manufacturing is unique from a civic perspective as well. True actively supports local law enforcement and fire departments, offering its large complex of buildings and outdoor facilities for training drills and plant tours. These regular interactions not only increase the safety of True employees but also build strong community ties.

Nearly half of True’s O’Fallon workforce resides in St. Charles County, reflecting the area’s skilled and motivated workforce across various roles, from manufacturing to professional positions. Many employees choose to relocate their families to St. Charles County to take advantage of the excellent education provided by the award-winning school districts.

True is a passionate supporter of National Manufacturing Day and regularly partners with local schools and organizations such as the O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce and Industries to promote job opportunities in manufacturing. The company opens its doors each year for plant tours and shares its story with hundreds of kids considering a career in the skilled trades. 

True Manufacturing’s involvement in the community extends well beyond its sprawling campus.  As the current chairperson for the O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Ashley has a front-row seat to the strong partnership between the City of O’Fallon, the SelectOFALLON team, and the O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

Ashley added, “We are all in lockstep, focused on economic vitality and seeing businesses of all sizes and industries flourish, building community together.”

Adapting to Challenges, Embracing Innovation

True Manufacturing responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by reevaluating traditional practices and introducing flexible work arrangements to accommodate varied work schedules. This initiative solidified their workforce during a difficult period and opened avenues to underutilized talent pools, reinforcing their commitment to inclusivity and adaptability. The perfect example is the company’s partnership with Boone Center Inc., a nonprofit serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. True empowers adults by offering them careers through the program, fostering independence and a sense of belonging. In return, True gains dedicated, loyal employees who bring joy and pride to their work.

“We let go of the phrase ‘This is how we’ve always done it’ a long time ago,” Ashley said. “If our team members do not have the right systems in place to support their personal lives – easy access to highways, availability of childcare, a variety of retail and food options, strong schools, and a safe community to live in — they are coming to work with distractions that will ultimately impede their ability to fully thrive in the workplace.”

True Manufacturing values opportunities for all workplace models. They tapped into many underutilized talent pools and are proud of the various partnerships.

Advice to Businesses Considering O’Fallon

For businesses eyeing O’Fallon as a potential location, Ashely advises, “Take time to build relationships with the chamber, city officials, first responders, economic development professionals, school leaders and other community partners. This collaborative spirit, coupled with O’Fallon’s business-friendly environment and supportive ecosystem, makes it an ideal destination for companies seeking sustainable growth and community integration.”