United Alloy expansion fuels job creation

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Jim Leute
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

JANESVILLE—An expansion that will more than double its production space is not yet complete, but a Janesville manufacturer has already surpassed employment benchmarks required by city and state incentive packages.

Construction on a 112,000-square-foot addition to United Alloy should be complete later this year and fully operational early in 2015.

The company on Kennedy Road makes fuel tanks, frames, trailers and complex fabrications for the power equipment and off-highway equipment markets.

Earlier this year, the company promoted Stephan Achs from vice president of sales and marketing to president and chief revenue officer.

With Achs came a change in strategy to transform what has been a regionally strong manufacturer to one that competes both nationally and internationally in the wider power equipment, construction and agriculture industries.

 “We had been a high quality fabrication shop offering services,” Achs said Tuesday before Gov. Scott Walker arrived to tour the company. “Now we're going to aggressively manufacture and sell products to Fortune 100 manufacturers, and we're going to do it so it's annuity, repeat business.

“We are poised to make the big step to a firm that can compete on a global stage. 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 said the company's year-to-date sales have increased significantly over last year's record pace, and the current quarter is the strongest in company history.

United Alloy considered an expansion outside Wisconsin to be closer to 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 hometown, and we decided that it was wisest to go with the people who helped us achieve our success in the first place.”

Thomas Baer is founder of the 15-year-old company that supplies fabricated metal fuel tanks, skids, trailers, and complex weldments to original equipment manufacturers of portable generators and other power generation equipment.

“The business potential exists, and we knew it was time to build a building to match,” Baer said. “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.”

In order to keep United Alloy in Janesville, the city provided an incentive package worth $887,460, and the state kicked in a forgivable loan of $500,000 and tax credits worth up to $130,000.

In return, United Alloy agreed to retain its workforce of 100 and add 35 new workers.

Achs said Tuesday the company already has more than 150 employees, putting it beyond the benchmarks tied to the city and state incentive commitments.

“United Alloy's expansion is another indication of the strong economic development we are experiencing in Rock County and throughout the state,” Walker said. “The company reviewed other options for this project and ultimately decided Wisconsin was the best place to continue to grow its business.”

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