Plant News

Posted on Nov 9, 2015 :: Plant News
Posted by , Insight on Manufacturing Staff Writer


The Oshkosh-Neenah Metropolitan Statistical Area monthly unemployment rate decreased to 3.4 percent in September from 4.7 percent in 2014, according to preliminary figures released by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Total employment in the Oshkosh-Neenah MSA increased to 88,399 in September from 87,311 in September 2014.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in September from a revised 4.7 percent in September 2014.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.1 in September.

Gov. Scott Walker indicated at the Manufacturing First Expo & Conference that the state’s Job Center of Wisconsin site lists more than 100,000 open jobs around the state.



Neenah-based Werner Electric Supply will be expanding into North Dakota.

According to the company, expanding the footprint is a key element to its strategy for growing the electrical supply company.

The Werner expansion will bring employment opportunities to the Bismarck area, including positions responsible for commercial selling, operations management and coordination of North Dakota projects.

Werner Electric Supply provides automation, electrical and data communication products to a wide range of industrial, commercial and construction customers. The company employs nearly 400 people in 11 locations throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.



Manitowoc Company announced the next steps in its global Foodservice manufacturing strategy. This includes the company’s intention to move products currently manufactured at its Cleveland, Ohio, facility to other locations. Manitowoc also expects to close its Irwindale, Calif. distribution warehouse.



KNM of Manitowoc announced plans to add 6,000 square feet to its existing facility. This will add more support for its manufacturing customer needs and provide more work space for current employees and will allow room for additional growth. Also included in the expansion is the addition of fabrication equipment to meet current and future customer needs.

Some of the new equipment includes a Mitsubishi MV 2400K wire EDM,  KMT C 370 cold saw, Carell plate roller and Carell ring roller.KNM offers full-service CNC machining with CNC turning up to 42 inches in diameter as well as surface, rotary grinding and tool and die making.



Keller Inc. will design and renovate the interior and exterior of Vanderloop Shoes in Little Chute. The 2,000-square-foot building will be completed this month.

Owner Todd Vanderloop is renovating the existing building to better facilitate his fleet of trucks and open another retail location for customers to purchase safety shoes.



Kimberly-Clark Corporation received a SmartWay Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for working with transportation providers to move goods in the cleanest, most energy-efficient way possible while reducing the impacts of carbon pollution.

The company has more than doubled its use of intermodal transport, saving an estimated 72 million gallons of diesel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 734,000 metric tons. The adoption of more efficient transport has also saved the company an estimated $415 million.

Kimberly-Clark is one of 11 companies to receive the distinction.

EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership is a market-driven initiative that empowers businesses to move goods in the cleanest, most energy-efficient way possible while protecting public health and reducing the impacts of climate change.

Since 2004, SmartWay Partners have save 144.3 million barrels of oil and $20.6 billion in fuel costs.

Event News


The Greater Green Bay Chamber wants to help young people discover the career pathways that inspire them, and to understand what kinds of classes they need to pursue those careers.

On Nov. 16, the chamber will host Find Your Inspiration 2015 – Exploring Careers of Greater Green Bay for 1,500 area eighth-graders from nine Green Bay-area school districts. This new workforce development event will help engage students in the types of careers that are available throughout Greater Green Bay industry sectors, including manufacturing, according to the chamber. About 50 area businesses are participating, including manufacturers Hudson-Sharp, Bay Tek Games, Belmark Inc., KI, PDQ Manufacturing, Green Bay Packaging and Jones Sign Company.

The event aims to expose students to new careers, make initial professional connections and learn about post-secondary education.

Additionally, students will be involved in creating part of a sculpture that will be the gateway to the Old Main Street Arts District at Baird and Main streets in Green Bay.

A grant from the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation is supporting the cost of buses and event space.

Manufacturers that would like to participate next year should contact Ashley Knutsen, youth career development manager, at (920) 593-3404.



The Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year (MOTY) award program, sponsored by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, is an annual recognition of excellence in manufacturing. It celebrates the successes of manufacturers in the state: their innovations, philanthropy, technological advances, commitment to customer satisfaction and quality jobs.

If you would like to be considered for a MOTY award, applications will be accepted until Nov. 20. The event will take place in Milwaukee on Feb. 25, 2016. For more information, visit



This year’s New North Summit will feature keynote speakers, a CEO panel of regional leaders and networking time. In addition, Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance (NEWMA) will be announcing the results of the sixth annual Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Vitality Index. The event will take place Dec. 2 in Oshkosh. Go to to register.



The All Stars are manufacturers (ages 18 to 35) and mentors of any age who are setting an example of professionalism, leadership and commitment to their career in any manufacturing-related field. They’re featured annually in the All Stars Magazine (published by Insight Publications), which is distributed to area schools, companies and parents to help highlight manufacturing as an attractive career choice.

The 2016 All Stars are:

  • Amie Borchardt (mentor), lead process engineer, Waupaca Foundry
  • Louis Ledvina (mentor), senior engineered systems leader, N.E.W. Plastics Corp.
  • Adel Ajeti, machine operator, Rockline Industries
  • Elizabeth Check, food safety and quality leader, Johnsonville Sausage
  • Adam Earley, fifth-year sheet metal apprentice, Bassett Mechanical
  • Chris Fredrick, operations supervisor, Nature’s Way
  • Kory Koesling, CNC leadman, Silvan Industries
  • Justin Palbrach, electrical manufacturing engineer, Georgia-Pacific
  • Luar Rousseau, engineered systems leader, N.E.W. Plastics Corp.
  • Josh Salm, project technician, Sargento Foods Inc.
  • Carl Wehmas, associate manufacturing engineer, CMD Corp.
  • Jamie Williams, lean process/production manager, KI