Mayor: 100+ manufacturing jobs coming to Ladysmith

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

LADYSMITH, Wis. (WEAU) -- A local community dealing with high unemployment is finally getting some relief.

After laying off hundreds of workers in recent years, the city of Ladysmith says Weather Shield is rebounding and is in the process of bringing in up to 175 new jobs.

The Medford based company makes windows at its plants in Ladysmith.

On Friday, WEAU 13 News spoke with the city’s mayor about the massive hiring.

Mayor Daniel Gudis said not only is this a relief for Ladysmith, it could be a sign of future economic growth in Rusk County and the surrounding area in the next year.

Gudis said the talks to bring hundreds of jobs to town has been several months in the making.

“Some folks have been laid off, their unemployment is gone and they're happy to get back to work,” Gudis said.

The news of the manufacturing job creations comes after the company laid off hundreds of workers from its Ladysmith plants in the last two years.

“They're also bringing back jobs from Mosinee to Ladysmith and the screen plant that they had vacated in 2011,” Gudis said.

With things now turning around for Weather Shield, the mayor said the company is in the process of hiring between 125-175 workers in 2012.

“These will be primarily production jobs. Door, window and screen assembly and there's some vinyl work. One plant they do have here is fiber glass windows,” Gudis said.

And the hirings could be a boon for not only Ladysmith but the entire region.

“We've had a lot of people drive in from Sawyer County, and coming from Price County, Chippewa County, and Barron County. It helps our stores and gas stations and everything we have here,” Gutis said.

Weather Shield employee Kristin Brand said this could be the unemployment relief many have been waiting for.

“Rusk County has been known to be one of the lowest counties for unemployment in the state. This is really bringing a positive outlook to the entire community,” Brand said.

WEAU called Weather Shield on Friday but the company declined to comment on the expansion.

Gutis said city leaders will be meeting with the company again in February.

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