BREAK GROUND-Pictured from left are Marinette Mayor Steve Genisot, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Todd Lemery, Winsert president & CEO Trisha Dickinson Lemery, Vincenzo LaVia, Winsert vice president Paul Dickinson, Harold Bergstrom, and Amy Bergstrom.
Winsert Breaks Ground For Another Major ExpansionIssue Date: August 16, 2018
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, his wife Tonette and son Matthew, State Rep. Jeff Mursau, and Marinette Mayor Steve Genesot were among dignitaries who attended a golden shovel groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, Aug 10 to kick off another major expansion at the Winsert plant in Marinette. The 20,000 square foot expansion of manufacturing space is slated for completion in 2019.
Employees were released from work to take part in the event and drew praise from the governor and from Winsert President and CEO Trisha Dickinson Lemery for the hard work and dedication that make the company's growth possible. The firm is owned by the Dickinson family, including Vice President Paul Dickinson, Amy Bergstrom and Lemery.
Company officials said that this plant expansion is dedicated to precision machining and grinding operations as well as the expansion of the foundry area, and comes on the heels of the 10,000 sq. ft. Stephen A. Dickinson Materials Research Center expansion in 2016.
The expansion highlights that Winsert's new generation of alloys are being well received in the marketplace across the globe. Winsert's new generation valve seat insert, EGR, Turbocharger, and Wastegate materials are propelling Winsert to new heights and reinforces its stance as a leading global provider of innovative alloy solutions, according to an official Winsert statement, which adds, "Furthermore, this expansion is a testament to the true commitment and dedication of Winsert's family of employees since its inception in 1977.
Gov. Walker and his family arrived at the groundbreaking site on a beautiful Friday morning in the bus they are using for a tour of Wisconsin. Security precautions were evident, with entry to the parking lot off Marinette's Industrial Parkway South limited to invited guests.
In her opening comments, Lemery noted this was the governor's second visit to Winsert to help celebrate an expansion, of which there have been three in the past few years.
"From our 2012 plant and office expansion to our 2016 R&D expansion, we are now back to expanding our plant once again in 2018 " this is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of our great family of employees", Lemery, said. "We are proud of this expansion, which will be dedicated to increasing our precision machining and grinding capacity and we are proud of the fact that we are a growing, thriving family business in this great community". Included with this expansion, Winsert will be looking at increasing their workforce by 20 to 25 employees over the next several years if business projections remain true. These positions would include hourly positions from machine operators to foundry personnel to general labor as well as salaried positions from engineers to metallurgists. "We, at Winsert, pride ourselves in the work we do and the difference we make within the industries we serve and our communities in which we live. We continuously strive to be an employer of choice within our community and we look forward to expanding our Winsert family."
Lemery went on to thank Winsert's customers across the globe for the strong partnerships that have been built. "We want to thank our great customers around the world for partnering with Winsert and continuing to trust in our proven solutions. This expansion is evidence that Winsert's new generation of alloys is being well received in the global marketplace and reinforces Winsert's stance as a leading provider of innovative alloy solutions." Lemery said. "As cobalt instability remains and prices continue to fluctuate, our OEM partners are consistently seeing the value that our materials bring to their applications both in terms of the proven performance as well as substantial cost savings. For that, I am glad we are making a positive difference for them."
Mayor Genisot expressed appreciation that this was the governor's second visit to Marinette in a week, and introduced him to the crowd. Genisot commented it is too easy to overlook all the good things Marinette has to offer, including good jobs, and excellent manufacturing businesses like Winsert.
Gov. Walker noted he had enjoyed Breakfast on the Farm in Marinette County, and said he sometimes comes to the Crivitz area to ride motorcycles in the Northwoods with State Rep. Jeff Mursau, of Crivitz.
"We know where Marinette County is," Gov. Walker joked. He noted that when he flies in to the airport in Menominee both the Michigan and Wisconsin flags are flying.
Walker said before the outdoor gathering began he had toured the facility and seen the employees at work. "You're empowered to make this company great," he told them. He noted parts for Schneider trucks are made there, and Winsert had received awards for exports.
For Wisconsin as a whole, Walker declared, "There are a lot of exciting dynamics going on." He said unemployment is below 3 percent for the fifth consecutive month, and things were not ever that good before, even in the 1990s. Wage growth in Wisconsin also is above the national average, Walker said.
He said tax credits have been put in place, and school funding has been improved, with the goal of bringing people into Wisconsin for not just jobs, but for careers.
The jobs are available now, Walker added, "and now we have to make sure we have people to do them."
Mursau, in a very brief address, agreed that Marinette is booming, and said while he does not represent this district, a lot of people from his district work here.
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