Modular home maker coming to Butte, could employ hundreds

A California company that makes modular homes plans to build an $80 million, 450,000 square-foot facility at the Montana Connections Business Development Park in Butte that could employ up to 150 employees the first year and more after that.

Officials with San Diego-based Dvele told commissioners of their plans at Wednesday night’s council meeting, saying they chose Butte in large part because of its connecting interstates and its people, including county officials who helped with their project.

“You’re wonderful to work with,” said Stace McGee, vice president of development for Dvele. “As we defined having challenges, you worked with us to try to overcome that challenge and understand how we can move forward.”

The facility will make modular homes that can be built in months and then be shipped out for placement. They can be built at 30% to 40% less cost than traditional houses, McGee said.

The timeline is not definitive but McGee said they hope to start construction on the facility this summer.

The factory would have between 100 to 150 employees the first year after construction and it would jump to about 300 in the second year. “By the fifth year it would be almost 500 employees,” McGee said.

Some of the employees would come from Dvele operations elsewhere but they hope to hire “a couple hundred” new employees from Montana and perhaps other states, McGee said, though finding that many will be a challenge given the tight labor market.