Gov. Doyle: Governor Doyle Announces $111,000 Training Grant to Assist Expansion of Appleton Coated
Tony Hozeny, Department of Commerce, 608-267-9661
Jessica Erickson, Governor's Office, 608-261-2156
Company Will Expand Manufacturing Capacity at Combined Locks Facility
COMBINED LOCKS - Governor Jim Doyle announced today that the State of Wisconsin will provide a $111,000 training grant to assist Appleton Coated, LLC as it invests $40 million to expand the coated manufacturing capability of its Combined Locks facility. The Governor made the announcement during a visit to the company's Combined Locks plant.
"Fostering the growth of our paper industry is critical to a strong Wisconsin economy, and is an important part of my 'Grow Wisconsin' Initiative," Governor Doyle said. "If we are going to continue to lead the nation in producing paper, we need to upgrade and modernize our paper industry. And, as our companies upgrade their technology, we need to make sure that our workers receive the training they need to use that new equipment and move up the economic ladder."
"This grant will help Appleton Coated strengthen the skills of its workers as it upgrades its facilities and makes a new investment in Wisconsin," the Governor said. The grant is part of the Department of Commerce's Customized Labor Training Program, which provides grants to companies to help cover a portion of the costs associated with training employees on new technologies, industrial skills, or manufacturing processes.
Appleton Coated intends to rebuild its off-machine coater, add a second off-line calender and roll-wrapping equipment, and modify its No. 7 Paper Machine. The project will significantly increase the premium-coated paper manufacturing capability to an annual capacity in excess of 425,000 tons. The company will use the $111,000 grant to train 99 current employees. Total cost of the training project is $222,000.
"The Wisconsin paper industry is under attack from global competitors. This training grant reinforces the Governor's commitment to our industry," said Mike Van Eyck, President and CEO of Appleton Coated. "It also enables us to equip our employees to leverage the technology associated with our $40 million investment."
Through his "Grow Wisconsin" Initiative, the Governor's Administration is committed to strengthening and upgrading the state's manufacturing sector, including the paper industry, and to providing training to workers to update their skills.
The Governor has proposed a worker training program to provide free job training services to manufacturers that create a significant number of new jobs in Wisconsin or make major investments in their workplace. He has directed the Department of Commerce to focus many of its training programs to help manufacturers upgrade the skills of their workforce. And the Governor has proposed a Manufacturing Competitiveness Program to help manufacturers improve their productivity, apply new technology, and become more competitive. The Legislature, however, has yet to take up these proposals.
Appleton Coated, LLC, is headquartered in Kimberly, with manufacturing operations in Combined Locks and distribution centers in Remington, IN; Los Angeles, CA; and Vail, PA. Appleton Coated is a premier manufacturer of high-end coated papers marketed in North America under the brand name, Utopia.
Since 2000, Commerce has provided more than $22.1 million in loans and grants to 95 Outagamie County projects that retained 852 jobs, created 594 jobs, and leveraged $38.4 million in new investment.