RIPON - One company in Fond du Lac County says it's hiring 100 workers this weekend, and that's creating economic confidence in the area.
Alliance Laundry held a job fair today at the Royal Ridge Banquet Center.
The company says it's trying to fill jobs created by a multi-million dollar expansion.
More than 300 people filled out applications and waited in line before noon Saturday, eager to be hired by Alliance Laundry in Ripon.
"We are in the process of immediately filling 100 positions. Some of those jobs are entry level. Some go up to $15 an hour or more," said Pete Rens, the plant project manager.
Rens says the company already started hiring earlier this year when production on laundry machine parts increased.
It hasn't hired in large numbers since the recession.
"We've been operating at a maximum plant capacity on a couple of our production lines. We're just excited about our plant expansion. A $23 million plant expansion that's going to add over 250 jobs. It does mean a lot to the community," said Rens.
The mayor of Ripon says with hundreds of new jobs coming to the area, developments like this apartment complex have started popping up. He hopes more families will relocate to the area.
"Seeing the people coming here today, I'm just as excited for the community as I am for the people who are coming here looking for a job," said Mayor Gary Will.
Jobs haven't been a common thing in the Ripon area.
Most recent unemployment data from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development shows 7.7 percent of Fond du Lac County is unemployed.
That includes folks just like Ricky James.
"Been looking since February. It's not easy. There are not a lot of jobs out there right now. This is my home town, and I'm looking into building washers and equipment like that," said James.
After a short interview, James got the news he was hoping for...a go ahead to this line, for drug testing and physical examination.
It put him a few quick steps from a solid job, and a better future.
"It feels real good," he said.
Some of the workers hired today will begin at Alliance Laundry as soon as next week.
Hiring will continue throughout the year.
Firefighters are battling a house fire in Kewaunee County.
Wind, snow, cold and ice played a role as firefighters battled a fire in downtown Ripon Wednesday morning.
Outagamie County's second largest employer is expanding, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
The State Building Commission has approved $5 million to help build the Wisconsin Maritime Center of Excellence in Marinette.
Fond du Lac police have released more information about the weapons they found in the apartment of a man who was at the center of a five-hour standoff on Monday.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is announcing a public meeting has been scheduled to provide road closure and design information for the Velp Avenue interchange area.