Ironwood Plastics Inc., a firm that manufactures custom-molded plastic parts, is expanding its operations in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, as part of a $19 million project that ultimately is expected to triple the size of its workforce by creating 80 new jobs.
The firm’s current facility in Two Rivers is near capacity and the expansion project will enable the company to meet its existing needs as well as accommodate future growth, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
The first phase of the expansion project involves purchasing an existing 27,000-square-foot building next door to the existing facility and installing additional production machinery. This $6 million investment will occur over the next year and ultimately is expected to result in 40 new jobs.
A potential second phase will involve a building expansion and additional production equipment, and is expected to occur within five years. Phase 2 will require an estimated $13 million investment and is expected to create another 40 jobs.
Ironwood President Rick Faustich added: “With Ironwood’s current rate of growth, more plant capacity was essential, and we feel very fortunate to be able to expand into a top-quality building the size we were seeking adjacent to our existing high-performance plant. The ability to leverage the talents of our current workforce at the new building and the participation of Two Rivers and the state of Wisconsin added to the attractiveness of the Two Rivers location, among facility sites we considered.”
To help secure the new jobs, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is providing Ironwood Plastics with a $400,000 zero-interest loan. If the company creates 80 new jobs, retains its existing 34 positions and makes at least $19 million in capital investment, $200,000 of the loan will be forgiven.
The City of Two Rivers is also assisting with the project. It will invest $120,000 in 5.8 acres of vacant land, which will be deeded to the company for $1 upon completion of Phase 1 and after Ironwood has created and retained at least 40 new jobs for one year.
“The city partnered with the WEDC to provide an incentive package that convinced Ironwood Plastics to pursue this expansion in Two Rivers,” said City Manager Greg Buckley. “Ironwood’s purchase of the former Omega Manufacturing building, combined with the acreage being provided by the city, will result in the company having two manufacturing plants on a 12-acre campus in Two Rivers. This lays the foundation for further expansion in our community by this financially strong, growing company.”
“WEDC is pleased to support this project, which not only addresses Ironwood Plastics’ current operational needs, but also positions the company for future expansion as the economy continues to grow,” said Reed Hall, Secretary/CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “With this award, WEDC continues to show its commitment to help grow the economy in Manitowoc County. Since 2012, WEDC has provided more than $3.9 million in awards to Manitowoc County companies to help them create or retain nearly 900 jobs.”
“I’m excited to join citizens from across Two Rivers and Manitowoc County in celebrating the expansion of Ironwood Plastics,” said Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. “This is another great Wisconsin success story, as more of our friends and neighbors find jobs at a wonderful Wisconsin company.”