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Monday, July 3rd, 2006 -- 10:55 am
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director

--The Neillsville area received a big dose of good economic news today as a St. Croix County company announces plans to expand their welding, fabricating, machining and assembly operations.

OEM Fabricators Inc. announced today they plan to construct a nearly 50,000 square-foot facility that will be used to construct major components for original equipment manufacturers.

The news comes the week after Fleetguard-Nelson completed their phase-out of the Muffler plant, which employed 200 people.

“You (can’t) imagine what those employees are going through,” Murphy says. “They have families. I just said ‘have faith in us, have faith in us’. This is going to be such good news for them.”

Neillsville Mayor Diane Murphy says OEM expects to hire around 100 workers over the next three years, and hope to expand further at that time.

Murphy has been meeting quietly with OEM since late May. The company was drawn to Neillsville because of the existing workforce – many of whom have welding and fabricating experience – and the willingness of the City to help them expand, Murphy says.

“The company is very diversified. I’ve been through their plant in Woodville twice; there’s a very good relationship between the management and the employees. That’s one of the main things that will make everyone happy here in town,” Murphy says.

In a press release, OEM says they plan to invest nearly $9-million for construction, equipment, working capital and team member training.

The new facility will be located in an undetermined location on the City’s east side and they hope to start construction “as soon as possible”

Hiring will be conducted by the company through the Clark County Job Center, but it remains unclear when the hiring process will begin.

“They’re going to have a very good wage base. They’re going to come in and be good to their employees, and their employees are going to be good to them. We’re going to have a very positive thing here,” Murphy says.

Currently, OEM employs 200 at the Woodville facility. Annual sales growth at the company has topped 30-percent, prompting the expansion.

The City’s Economic Development Commission will be meeting on Wednesday to discuss the project.

On The Web:

OEM Fabrication website

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