Terex to close plant, lay off 92 in Pewaukee

Moving manufacturing operations to South Dakota

DUECO Terex WE Energies
DUECO in 2015 delivered two trucks equipped with Odyne plug-in hybrid systems to We Energies.

Terex Corp. has announced it will close its Pewaukee manufacturing plant and lay off 92 employees in the first quarter. It will retain its aftermarket service and parts support operations at the same location.

DUECO Terex WE Energies
DUECO in 2015 delivered two trucks equipped with Odyne plug-in hybrid systems to We Energies.

The company’s Pewaukee facility is located at N4 W22610 Bluemound Road. Connecticut-based Terex added the operation through the 2015 acquisition of Pewaukee-based DUECO Inc., which sold and serviced utility trucks and had about 350 employees and $100 million in revenue as of late 2014.

The layoffs will take place in stages from Jan. 6 to Feb. 17. The positions affected are varied, but 20 of them are mechanic welders. Mechanics, welders and painters also are impacted.

Terex will retain about 35 employees at the Pewaukee location in service technician, parts customer service and sales support roles. The company will continue to service local customers from the service and parts operation at the facility, said Joe Caywood, director of marketing for Terex Utilities.

“Our intention is no change to our service and parts operation,” Caywood said.

The company said in a WARN notice to the State of Wisconsin that it has decided to close the Pewaukee plant after a review of its manufacturing footprint and production capacity. Terex plans to consolidate its final-stage production in its South Dakota factory, which does the same final-stage installation as Waukesha and also manufactures aerial and digger derrick devices.

“The consolidation was driven to have more efficient use of our manufacturing footprint and managing our overall cost structure so that we can position us to deliver on our commitments with our customers and our company,” Caywood said.

When asked whether Terex planned to close the Pewaukee facility when it aquired DUECO last year, Caywood said: “The decision that was made has been a driver of managing the manufacturing footprint and also managing to overall market demand. Those both change over time.

“Our business serves several different markets within the electric utilities space. Some of those markets are up, some of those markets are flat and some of those markets are down.”

Judie Taylor, who was part of the third-generation leadership at DUECO and stayed on for about a year after the acquisition, has been working to help affected employees. She left the company about six months ago and didn’t know this action would take place.

“I want to do whatever I can to try to help the existing employees, and place them wherever I can,” Taylor said. “They’ve been part of an unfortunate situation due to no fault of their own, but there are very talented and skilled team members who I’d be honored to help each and every one of them find a home.”

When she got the call informing her of the decision, Taylor sprang to action. She met yesterday with about 30 CEOs on the Waukesha County Business Alliance Manufacturing Executive Council to let them know about the layoff and ask if they would consider hiring Terex’s skilled Pewaukee workers.

“The initial responses with the (CEOs) I’ve talked to have been very positive,” Taylor said. “There are manufacturing companies that are interested and they’re hiring and looking for good mechanics, welders, engineers and hopefully the array of current positions that we have will match up with openings that they have.”

The Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Board is providing workforce services to the affected employees.

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.