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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Energy Composites plant to create 400 jobs

From an article by Nathaniel Shuda in the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune:

A Wisconsin Rapids-based company will create at least 400 jobs with a manufacturing plant it will build "as soon as practicable," the company's top executive said Tuesday.

Energy Composites Corp., the parent company of Advanced Fiberglass Technologies, 4400Commerce Drive, will produce blades for wind turbines as part of its planned $15 million company expansion, Chief Executive Officer Sam Fairchild said.

"We have (the plant) almost designed now," Fairchild said. "We want to be (as) streamlined as possible and employ as many people as possible."

The announcement comes during a time when hundreds of local residents are struggling with job loss. More than 600 local jobs were eliminated since June after Montreal-based papermaker Domtar shut down its Port Edwards mill and Green Bay-based Schreiber Foods closed its plant in the Wisconsin Rapids West Side Industrial Park.

The 350,000-square-foot Advanced Fiberglass plant and related construction not only will add revenue to the city's tax base but also boost other local businesses, said Connie Loden, president and CEO of the Heart of Wisconsin Business & Economic Alliance.

"It's going to have a positive impact across the entire business community, and on a municipal level ... it has economic benefits as well," Loden said. "Certainly, you'll see the positive impact of the wages paid in our area and those wages spent in our area."

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