Dept. of Commerce: Governor Announces $350,000 to Help Weldcraft Expand, Create Jobs in Appleton

Tony Hozeny, Department of Commerce, 608-267-9661
Anne Lupardus, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

APPLETON – Governor Jim Doyle announced today that Weldcraft, a division of Illinois Tool Works (ITW), Inc. will receive $350,000 in grants and loans from the Department of Commerce to help them in updating and expanding their production complex and current operations in Appleton, creating 50 jobs. The company is transferring its TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) torch manufacturing operation from California.

“At the heart of my Affordability Agenda is a commitment creating good jobs and growing our economy,” Governor Doyle said. “To do that, we are using technology, training, trade promotion, and new investment to innovate and modernize Wisconsin manufacturing. This investment in Illinois Tool Works is a great example of how the state can work with manufacturers to encourage investment and job creation right here in Wisconsin. I am pleased we could help this great company upgrade, expand, and create new, good jobs for Appleton.”

The Wisconsin Department of Commerce is providing a $250,000 low-interest loan and a $100,000 grant to assist this project. The $2.2 million expansion includes moving into a new facility and training workers on the new product line being transferred from the west coast.

“”Weldcraft is pleased to bring new jobs to the area,” Lee Van Boxtel, General Manager with Weldcraft said. “These jobs could have gone to other locations outside of Wisconsin but we felt that the people in Appleton and the surrounding communities offered advantages to our business not found anywhere else. We discussed our position with the State of Wisconsin and their support of our efforts made this project a win-win situation.”

The company also considered expanding in Ohio, but determined that the Wisconsin facility had the most potential for improving efficiency and increasing production quickly.

Illinois Tool Works Inc. designs and produces an array of highly engineered fasteners and components, equipment and consumable systems, and specialty products and equipment for customers around the world. A Fortune 200 diversified manufacturing company with more than 90 years of history, ITW’s 650 decentralized business units in 45 countries employ nearly 49,000 men and women who are focused on creating value-added products and innovative customer solutions. ITW operates out of several locations throughout Wisconsin including Appleton-based MILLER Electric who employs over 1,300 workers in the Fox Valley.