Oct 9, 2014

Sun Prairie company to get $750K in state tax credits to expand plant, create 199 jobs

Excerpted by Wisconsin State Journal
By Karen Rivedal

Thermal Spray Technologies, a developer of protective spray coatings for some of the world’s top manufacturers, will get up to $750,000 in state tax credits to create 199 jobs — more than doubling its workforce in three years — as part of an $11.5 million expansion in the Sun Prairie Business Park.

Founded in 1992, Thermal Spray currently employs about 125 people at its existing building at 515 Progress Way. The company purchased a nearby 92,000-square-foot building for the expansion, with a renovation underway now and due to finish early next year.

Wages for the new jobs would range from $14 to $29 an hour, with an average starting wage of $20.26, or about $42,000 annually, according to Patrick Drinan, WEDC’s economic development director, on Wednesday.

“It’s an exciting project in which a local company is … making significant investments in new equipment to help them succeed long-term,” Drinan said in an interview.

The new space is needed to meet increased customer demand and will enable the company to install the latest equipment for industrial coating and advanced machining technology, company president Bill Lenling said.

“This expansion is reflective of TST’s largest growth to date,” he said. “We are delighted to partner with WEDC through this exciting stage in our company’s history.”

Thermal Spray manufactures product-specific coatings that are designed to be wear-resistant and protective for components used in the aerospace, electronics, agriculture, medical, oil and gas, automotive, power generation, papermaking, printing, food processing and defense industries, according to the company and WEDC.

With the expansion, Lenling said the company needs to hire for a variety of positions, including engineers, machinists, technicians to run the thermal spray equipment and human resources professionals.

“Everyone’s excited about the opportunity that our customers are providing us,” he said. “And we’re excited that we can keep the work here in Wisconsin, (even though) a lot of our customers are located in Texas and Oklahoma and places like that. But to do it here is working very well because of the very strong manufacturing base and reputation that Wisconsin has.”

Thermal Spray traces its roots to technology advances developed at UW-Madison in the late 1980s.

“The fact that a lot of the technology was developed in conjunction (with UW-Madison) is pretty exciting,” Drinan said. “It helped transform the company into a successful global business that continues to thrive.”

Read the full article.