RIPON - One of Ripon's largest employers is growing. Alliance Laundry Systems announced expansion plans Friday. The multi-million dollar project is expected to create hundreds of jobs.
Friday, the company broke ground on a manufacturing facility near the company's current operations.
Alliance Laundry System's Ripon workforce of 1,300 is responsible for designing, manufacturing and marketing commercial washing machines and dryers, such as Speed Queen.
Friday, company officials, along with state, county and local leaders, broke ground on a 20,000 square foot expansion.
President and CEO Mike Schoeb says the project is in response to an increased demand for small frame washers and dryers.
"Customers today are waiting for our products too long and we simply can't produce enough of them," said Schoeb.
The facility will house stamping presses, molding machines and automation equipment.
Production capacity is expected to grow by more than 40 percent.
In addition, the expansion will create 270 jobs in the coming years.
"The pay is, let's say, competitive in the marketplace. And we'll start hiring as soon as the building is up, so really in the beginning of the first quarter," said Schoeb.
Schoeb says the majority of the available jobs will be production and manufacturing positions.
To help with the company's $23 million expansion, the state approved up to $1.5 million in tax credits. In addition, Fond du Lac County's economic development corporation provided a $500,000 performance based loan.
"We're doing a better job of making it possible for companies like Alliance Laundry to go out and create more jobs, and we ultimately believe that'll have a ripple effect," said Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
"Any jobs that we can provide are greatly appreciated," said Ripon Mayor Gary Will.
In a city of just under 8,000 people, Mayor Will says the new jobs will have a major impact on the community.
"Not only just the residents of our community, other businesses in our community, hopefully other businesses see that Alliance Laundry is expanding in these tough economic times and they will also expand," he said.
The deal between the state and Alliance Laundry would distribute tax credits each year.
Those credits will depend on the number of jobs created over a four and half year period.
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