Economic Development - Expansion Mode

Manufacturing jobs have long been the economic heart of Calumet County, and while large companies like Ariens Co. in Brillion continue to do well, there's a new crop of small- and mid-size manufacturers making their mark in the county and beyond.

With three sites in New Holstein and one in Kiel, Amerequip provides engineering, designing and custom manufacturing for original equipment manufacturers, including John Deere, Case and Caterpillar.

"You won't find the name ‘Amerequip' stamped on anything, but rather we help larger manufacturers with their needs," says Mike Vander Zanden, president and chief executive officer.

To better meet its customers' needs, Amerequip is planning to build a 70,000-square-foot addition at its Kiel facility, where it will consolidate all of its welding operations. The project, which will cost at least $5 million, will break ground in March and be finished by October.

"By putting all of our welding operations at one site, we free up space at our New Holstein manufacturing facility and that puts us in the position to grow our fabrication capabilities," Vander Zanden says. "By doing that, we'll be able to expand our overall business."

The state-of-the-art welding facility will help the company better meet customer demand and serve as a recruiting tool to attract top talent. "If you're a welder and looking where to go, I think this state-of-the-art facility will make a real difference," Vander Zanden says.

The expansion is just the latest change the company is making to grow its business, he adds. A new training center was built in New Holstein and administrative changes were made to better handle a growing business. "We've really researched this and believe we are in a position to be the innovative partner businesses are looking for," Vander Zanden says.