Manufacturing Odds & Ends

U.S. Chemical to open new warehouse in Watertown
U.S. Chemical, the nation’s largest supplier of commercial cleaning solutions, will open a new 150,000-square-foot warehouse in Watertown.

U.S. Chemical, a division of Sturtevant-based Johnson Diversey Inc., will move its warehouse operations from Sturtevant to Watertown. The new building in Watertown at 1009 S. 12th St. will house a key distribution facility for U.S. Chemical, which also operates a manufacturing facility in Watertown at 316 Hart St.

The Watertown site for the new distribution center is jointly owned by Waukesha-based Wangard Partners Inc., RY Holdings LLC and PM Kolosso.

Wangard, led by principal Stewart Wangard, has hired Keller Inc., a general contractor with offices in the Fox Cities, Milwaukee and Wausau, to design and build the warehouse under the direction of Wayne Wiertzema, executive vice president of Wangard Partners.

"In a very short time frame, we worked closely with U.S. Chemical and Johnson Diversey to provide a solution to their distribution needs for this division," Wiertzema said. "It required an extremely tight four-month design, construction and delivery schedule to meet the tenant’s needs.We worked with the City of Watertown to fast-track the approval and permit process to start construction."

Pete Slezak, senior vice president of Colliers Barry Inc. in Milwaukee, brokered the deal. Construction of the new Watertown distribution center is expected to be completed by the fall. U.S. Chemical officials were not available to comment about how many jobs will be created at the new warehouse.

Bruno lands WCTC training grant
Bruno Independent Living Aids, a Pewaukee manufacturer of products designed to enhance the lives of individuals with mobility challenges, has been awarded a Workforce Advancement Training grant through Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC), which will allow it to engage in a training program valued at over $100,000.

Bruno will receive a $70,000 grant that will assist WCTC in training Bruno’s employees in a range of vital skill areas including: AC/DC electronics, Six Sigma, lean manufacturing, sales/customer Service and teamwork.

MGS Mfg. Group moves forward with new 5-axis machine
The tooling division of the MGS Mfg. Group recently acquired a röders RXP 500 DS 5-axis machine for its new electrode manufacturing cell. The new machine allows the cell to provide a more efficient way to manufacture electrodes with fewer hands-on manual set ups.

"The capabilities provided by this 5-axis machine have increased efficiencies in our tool shop," said Dan Anderson, high speed machine specialist. "It allows us to cut more accurately, rigidly, and at a faster pace."

MGS Mfg. Group will acquire another 5-axis machine by the end of the year.

MGS Mfg Group is a Germantown-based mold making, injection molding, engineering and design company that produces a wide range of products for OEMs and private label customers.

Milwaukee businesses oppose proposed sick leave mandate
The vast majority of businesses in the City of Milwaukee are opposed to a binding Nov. 4 referendum that will require them to provide a minimum amount of paid sick leave, according to a new survey by QPS Companies Inc., a Brookfield-based staffing and recruiting firm.

QPS surveyed executives at 1,200 businesses by e-mail in Milwaukee about how the ordinance would affect their companies.

Among the questions and the findings:

Should the City of Milwaukee be able to require employers to pay for sick leave above FMLA standards?
92 percent of businesses responded no.

What kind of benefit time does your company offer?
75 percent have distinct allocations for vacation, personal and sick days.
22 percent offer paid time off bank (PTO).
4 percent offer no benefit time.

At what point does your business consider sick days to be excessive?
52 percent responded three to five days per year was considered excessive.

Do you feel that the proposed city ordinance granting nine sick days per year is excessive or extremely excessive?
94 percent responded yes.

How do you believe that the proposed ordinance would affect local business?
75 percent responded negatively.

Jaime Maliszewski, owner of three Milwaukee companies, said, "As I stated at the Common Council meeting, this is a terrible idea for Milwaukee. Not only will it not get the worker any new compensation, but it will give prospective new businesses the idea that Milwaukee is anti-business. During a bad year like this year, when sales are down, we will have to re-evaluate our benefit package and rename our flexible vacation days to include vacation and sick days, with no added value to the employees."

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