A portable power equipment manufacturer, United Alloy plans to double the size of its production plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, and create 35 jobs in the region.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation provided the firm with a low-interest loan and tax credits to assist in building a 112,500-square-foot addition to its plant on Janesville’s north side. The expansion will more than double the size of United Alloy’s existing production facility on Kennedy Road and is expected to retain more than 100 existing positions. Construction on the addition is already underway, and the new facility is expected to be fully operational early next year.
“The business potential exists, and we knew it was time to build a building to match,” said Thomas Baer, Founder of the 15-year-old company supplying fabricated metal fuel tanks, skids, trailers, and complex weldments to original equipment manufacturers of portable generators and power generation equipment. “Our work is increasingly attracting the attention of blue-chip, Fortune 100 international customers. To meet their expectations, we need to be ready to handle a higher volume of production now, not a few years from now.”
“United Alloy’s expansion is another indication of the strong economic development we are experiencing in Rock County and throughout the state,” said Governor Scott Walker. “The company reviewed other options for this project and ultimately decided Wisconsin was the best place to continue to grow its business.”
WEDC is providing the company with a $500,000 low-interest loan and has certified up to $130,000 in Development Opportunity Zone tax credits. The tax credits will be distributed annually based on the number of new, full-time positions created over a three-year period. The company also has committed to retaining its existing employees. In addition to the WEDC award, the City of Janesville backed the expansion plan by creating a Tax Incremental Financing district to help cover redevelopment and infrastructure costs on the property.
“United Alloy is one of Janesville’s greatest success stories,” said Al Hulick, Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Janesville. “Since 2002, their company has grown from 30,000-square-feet and 25 employees to what soon will be 220,000-square- feet and over 135 employees. Their continued growth and investment in the community is a testament not only to the region’s workforce, but of United Alloy’s quality product, management, and business practices.”
Company officials say the expansion comes as United Alloy makes the transition from a regional company to one that serves an international market. “We are poised to make the big step to a firm that can compete on a global stage,” said Stephan Achs, United Alloy’s President and Chief Revenue Officer. “It is harder for multinational customers like ours to find suppliers they can trust to keep up with their pace and demands. Our commitment to and investment in growth is what gives them confidence.”
Achs noted that the company’s year-to-date sales are up significantly over last year’s record pace, and the current quarter is the strongest in United Alloy’s history.
The United Alloy management team considered expanding its operations outside of Wisconsin to be closer to numerous key customers. “Ultimately, we came back to the fact that our employee base here in Rock County is exceptional, hardworking and fully trained,” Achs said. “We believe we have world-class manufacturing talent right here in our own home town, and we decided that it was wisest to go with the people who helped us achieve our success in the first place.”
To help develop a workforce that can fill the jobs at United Alloy, the company just announced an educational partnership with Janesville’s Blackhawk Technical College aimed at training 30 to 50 new welders and strengthening the technical skills of the company’s existing staff.
“The United Alloy expansion project is a great example of the manufacturing sector’s resurgence, as well as further validation regarding the competitive value proposition offered by locating production and/or distribution facilities in the Janesville/Beloit area,” said James Otterstein, Economic Development Manager for the Rock County Development Agency.