Double K, which operates under the Hometown Trolley trade name, completed a 20,000-square-foot expansion of its production area and added equipment that will allow the company to double its workforce in Crandon, Wisconsin, and hire 27 additional employees.
The $800,000 expansion project also consisted of purchasing an existing 14,000-square-foot building and adding production and office space. Along with adding new equipment, Double K will move its paint booth from the old building to the new building.
“We outgrew our old building several years ago, and with our new low-floor models and full electric trolley project, it became clear that to follow through with the growth of our company, our only option was to move into a larger facility to efficiently expand and organize our production process,” said Kristina Pence-Dunow, chief executive officer of Hometown Trolley.
Hometown Trolley produces trackless trolley buses for public and private transportation. Several models are available, including a front engine model named the Villager and a rear engine model, Mainstreet. The newest product will be in high demand for heavy transit areas with major transit agencies, Wisconsin Economic Development officials said.
Hometown Trolley is also innovative in providing the flexibility to operate buses on several standard or alternative fuels including diesel, gasoline, compressed natural gas, LP and full electric.
“This is a significant investment by Double K for northern Wisconsin’s economy,” said Reed Hall, secretary and chief executive officer of Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. “We are pleased to be a partner to help Double K expand in Wisconsin so it can continue to make trolleys for use in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Central America and South America.” WEDC is providing a $200,000 loan to assist in the expansion. The loan from WEDC is a ten-year loan, with requirements for job creation and job retention.