The expansion addresses increasing demand for machined iron castings, including cleaning and finishing, from the automotive, commercial-vehicle and other industries.
Waupaca Foundry will expand into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to process iron castings produced at its Waupaca, WI, plants.
The company says it will invest $4.3 million in an existing 50,000-sq.-ft. (4,645-sq.-m) facility in Ironwood, MI, creating 61 new jobs. The expansion addresses increasing demand for machined iron castings, including cleaning and finishing, by the automotive, commercial-vehicle and other industries.
Prior to choosing a new location, Waupaca Foundry officials conducted job fairs and identified a strong pool of workers in the Gogebic County, MI, region, the company says in a news release.
“Like many employers across the nation, Waupaca Foundry is finding ways to overcome low unemployment and a shortage of skilled workers,” said CEO Mike Nikolai. “There simply are not enough workers to fill the open positions we have, so we explored expansion in regions that had a solid base of talented workers.”
Adds former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, “Waupaca Foundry’s decision to establish a facility in Ironwood following the closure of the Ojibway Correctional Facility is great news for Gogebic County and will mean good jobs for many of the talented workers in the region.”
Waupaca Foundry already has hired more than 35 new employees from the Upper Peninsula who are working full-time in Waupaca while the new facility is preparing for production.
The company employs a total of 4,500 people at seven iron foundries and two machining and assembly plants, all in the U.S.