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“Founder’s Club” remembers early days at Kansas City Plant

George Jursch worked for 40 years in the Kansas City Plant's Transportation and Receiving Department. That plant was the predecessor to NNSA's Kansas City National Security Campus.

When George Jursch went downtown Kansas City to apply for a Bendix job in 1949, he didn’t know exactly what he’d be doing – just that it was important to national security.

Having prior experience in the Army Signal Corps, Jursch was quickly hired and reported to work at the Bannister Federal Complex. He joined a group of men and women known as the “Founder’s Club” who helped open the Kansas City Plant (now NNSA's Kansas City National Security Campus) and lay the groundwork for its advanced engineering and manufacturing operations of today.

Over his 40-year career in Transportation and Receiving, he covered virtually every square inch at Bannister and knew almost everyone. To his surprise, one day Jursch ran into his cousin in the basement. Neither one had a clue they worked at the same place—a testament to the security culture where no one talked about their important work with friends and family.

Jursch witnessed many changes at the Kansas City Plant – from providing a taxi service to the downtown airport for visitors to having three cafeterias for about 9,000 employees. He said the one thing that never changed, however, was the sense of camaraderie and family.

“This was a good choice,” Jursch said. “The Bendix name meant something in Kansas City – a good place to work, a place to call home.”

The sense of family and doing something important for the nation enticed his daughter, Nancy Turner, to apply at Bendix when she graduated high school.  She carpooled with her dad for many years. Turner forged her own 45-year career, starting as a stenographer and rising up through the organization in quality, telemetry and inventory management. 

With a combined 85 years of service, there’s no doubt that Jursch and Turner have many great memories to share together. NNSA’s Kansas City National Security Campus thanks them for their service and wishes them a happy retirement!

Jursch's daughter, Nancy Turner, was inspired to work at the plant, too. Together, they put in more than 85 years of service.