BRILLION - Brillion snowblower manufacturer Ariens is looking to hire more than 100 new employees.
The company is entering its peak season and says with sales up sharply it must boost its workforce.
Ariens held a job fair from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday.
Nearly 200 people came to the hiring event, bringing resumes and a sense of optimism.
"I feel good, I feel good," job seeker Ryan Schaefer said.
But optimism has been in short supply lately.
While the Ariens is looking to boost its workforce, job seekers say they've had a hard time finding work.
"Not a lot of places are hiring," Schaefer said.
"It's pretty tough, I mean you got to have experience in whatever your really looking to do, if you want to work anywhere now days," Ariens applicant Kambray Kleinhans added.
Ariens says its applicants don't need any particular skill set to land a job. However, those with manufacturing, painting and welding experience could be offered even better opportunities.
"Our business has been really successful, this is for our snow build, which means they're building Ariens snow throws," Diane Bluel with Ariens Human Resources said. "And I'm sure based on last years snow, there's a lot of people looking to get their hands on this particular product."
The company held similar job fairs last year, but says because the positions are second shift and start at $10 an hour, it couldn't fill every spot.
"A lot of individuals aren't always interested in temporary work, so that led us to the work release program," Bluel added.
Ariens is currently employing 64 state prison inmates. Under state policy, a company can only hire inmates for positions it has recruited for, but can't fill.
Ariens says the 100 new positions will be in addition to its work release crew.
"It doesn't really displace anybody because we need so many additional people," Bluel said.
Job seekers were glad to here it.
"Oh I hope so, I'd like to work here, it's a job," Kleinhans said.
Ariens employs 1,300 in Brillion.
The company says its new hires could have the opportunity to move into full-time work in the future.
Ariens Company is best known for manufacturing snow blowers and lawn mowers.
Last week it celebrated a 26,000 square-foot, $3.8 million expansion at its headquarters.
This new space will be home to research and development, as well as engineering and expanded testing capabilities.
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.