Middleton, WI (4 December 2013) – Lighting and rigging manufacturer ETC has experienced substantial growth in recent years, leading the company to open a 355,774-square-foot manufacturing facility in Mazomanie, which will support its Middleton headquarters.
ETC was founded in 1975, when University of Wisconsin students Fred and Bill Foster and Gary Bewick developed a groundbreaking lighting control console in a garage in Madison. The company grew rapidly, opening offices around the world, with its headquarters located in Wisconsin. In 2004, ETC constructed an expansive 250,000-square-foot facility in Middleton’s industrial park to house the bulk of its global operations. In just a few short years, the workforce at ETC’s headquarters had increased and the new facility was no longer large enough to keep the pace of product development and production. So in 2008, ETC expanded its factory by an additional 78,000 square feet. The company quickly outgrew the addition and made the decision to buy a second facility to allow for future growth.
While many other companies have shifted their manufacturing overseas in recent years, ETC has committed to staying in Wisconsin. “ETC has an extremely skilled and dedicated workforce that has been at the heart of our company from the beginning,” explains ETC CEO Fred Foster. “ETC has always called the Madison area home, and keeping our production located here was very important to us.” After a dedicated search, the company found the perfect space in Mazomanie.
ETC purchased the new facility – located on the newly christened ETC Drive – which had previously housed printing company Sunny Industries. KEE Architecture was chosen to be the architectural firm and Design Structures was the builder in charge of transforming the structure to meet ETC’s needs. Frank Miller, ETC’s corporate architect, also contributed to the project, choosing office furniture and designing workspaces.
The structure comprises four conjoined buildings, and initially ETC will occupy 158,000 square feet, with much of the remaining space open for further expansion. “By the second week of December, the Mazomanie factory will be fully operational,” says ETC President Dick Titus. “It will primarily house our rigging and power-distribution assembly, and will be used for warehouse and storage space. The venue will also have offices for support staff, and eventually will become home to ETC’s woodshop, where we construct our tradeshow booths. We’ve even added a studio where our Marketing department can film promotional videos and conduct photo shoots.” ETC plans to rent out one of the buildings – a 145,000-square-foot unit with office space, a break room, and shipping and receiving docks – in the future.
The new Mazomanie building is just one of the projects ETC has undergone recently to accommodate its growing business. The company is currently in the process of remodeling and expanding its local office in New York City, and has renovated or purchased additional manufacturing, training and office space for its hubs in Ede, The Netherlands; Holzkirchen, Germany; Hong Kong; London and Rome.