Amerequip to expand Kiel plant

By Rick Barrett of the Journal Sentinel

A designer and manufacturer of equipment for the lawn, landscape, farm and construction industries has announced an expansion and the hiring of 60 people.

Amerequip Corp., based in Kiel, says it will break ground on the 70,000-square-foot addition to its plant in March and expects to have the project complete in the fall.

The expansion is valued at $5.6 million and involves moving welding operations from the company's New Holstein plant to Kiel.

"In turn, this frees up space at our New Holstein plant to grow our fabrication and machining capabilities," said Mike VanderZanden, president and chief executive officer.

The company, with 165 employees, has started hiring people in engineering, manufacturing, quality control, administration and other areas.

The starting wage for the production jobs ranges between $13 and $14 per hour, and the company says the salaried positions have pay comparable with other manufacturers in the area.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp has approved up to $216,000 in job creation tax credits for the 60 additional jobs.

"We had 13 new people start work on Monday, coming off 16 new hires in December," VanderZanden said.

Amerequip, in Kiel for 94 years, develops new products for companies such as John Deere, Case New Holland and Caterpillar.

"We are unique in that we can provide engineering, prototyping, testing, manufacturing, paint and assembly services. It allows us to take a product from concept all the way through delivery," VanderZanden said.

The privately held company says it expects 5% to 8% sales growth this year as business improves across the board in its product categories.