Wisconsin Manufacturing News

Polaris will begin closure of plant in Osceola March 1; U.S. Senate approves ship contract for Marinette Marine

Polaris will begin closure of plant in Osceola March 1

Polaris Industries Inc. has notified the state Department of Workforce Development that it will begin its planned shut-down of its facility in Osceola on March 1. When complete, the shutdown of the facility will affect a total of 484 workers.

Grafton-based Kapco Inc. reached terms to acquire the metal stamping operations of the Polaris facility in early December. Early next year, Kapco will become a Tier 1 supplier for Polaris, and will supply components for snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles.

Kapco is now leasing about 60,000 square feet inside the facility in Osceola and is in the process of hiring 50 to 60 employees there.

U.S. Senate approves ship contract for Marinette Marine

The U.S. Senate has approved a plan to purchase 10 littoral combat ships from Marinette Marine Corp. over the next five years.

If approved by the House of Representatives and signed by President Barack Obama, the contract is expected to generate about 5,000 jobs and generate $2.6 billion in the Wisconsin economy.

“We worked hard to ensure that Marinette Marine got a fair share of this shipbuilding contract, which will generate jobs and economic growth in the region for years,” said U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) “Marinette Marine has proven itself time and time again to be a top-of-the-line ship manufacturer and I’m gratified that Wisconsin will play a large role in shipbuilding and protecting our troops.” 

Under the contract, both Marinette Marine and Alabama-based Austal USA will be awarded five-year contracts to build 10 ships each. Lockheed Martin is a production partner with Marinette Marine.

If the contract is approved, Marinette Marine believes it will need an additional 2,100 workers to meet production demands. Its suppliers in Wisconsin are expected to add another 2,900 jobs.

The littoral combat ship is a light, fast and less expensive combat ship with a flexible design that will be able to complete a wide variety of missions depending on which “plug and play” modules it is carrying.

Marinette Marine built the USS Freedom, the company’s prototype LCS, in 2008. The company is now finishing work on its second LCS – the Fort Worth, which is meeting cost and schedule benchmarks.


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