Waupaca announces Michigan expansion

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced AFS Corporate Member Waupaca Foundry, a Hitachi Metals company, plans to expand in the city of Ironwood. According to a news release, the project is expected to generate an investment of $4.3 million and create 61 jobs.

“Waupaca Foundry’s decision to establish a facility in Ironwood is great news for Gogebic County and will mean good jobs for many of the talented workers in the region,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said. “We applaud the company for choosing to locate here and are thrilled to welcome them to Michigan.”

According to a news release, Waupaca “needs to expand in order to process castings, including cleaning and finishing, as a means to meet increasing demand – all in a location where there is sufficient labor supply.”

Waupaca plans to acquire an existing 50,000-sq.-ft. facility in Ironwood, which will also allow for additional iron casting finishing operations. Waupaca has been awarded a $1.2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

“The economy is strong and Waupaca Foundry is growing due to increased customer demand for cast and machined iron castings. Opening a facility to handle cleaning and finishing of cast parts will allow us to meet customers’ expectations in quality and delivery of their parts,” Waupaca Foundry executive vice president John Wiesbrock said.

According to the news release, Waupaca conducted job fairs and identified “a strong pool of motived, highly talented workers in the Ironwood region. This new facility is a step in the right direction for the community and region.”

“Like many employers across the nation Waupaca Foundry is finding ways to overcome low unemployment and a shortage of skilled workers,” president, COO and CEO Mike Nikolai said. “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.”