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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  • by Wow Location: Reality on Jan 30, 2012 at 12:06 PM
    This is a window manufacturer- closing the doors on one facility and adding the work to another facility. They are saving overheard costs of by shutting one facility down. Look outside your negative little heads! This is a sound business investment, especially with the new housing market all but dryed up!
  • by John on Jan 30, 2012 at 09:49 AM
    New Jobs??????? More like rehiring everyone they laid off. Nothing new here, keep moving on. Walker is a joke!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 29, 2012 at 05:09 PM
    I'll give it less then 5 years and they will be laying off again.
  • by CC Location: EC on Jan 29, 2012 at 04:47 AM
    Has anyone researched the "new jobs"? Is WS able to get tax incentives for jobs created? Seems to me they just rotate the jobs from one property they own to another. They shut down in Greenwood and create in Butternut. Then they lay-off in Butternut and hire in Mosinee. Now Mosinee is laid off and they're hiring in Ladysmith. How long before they end these jobs and hire at a different location again? I suppose everyone is hired at "starting pay of" and no one has any seniority/longevity. Sure cuts down on money spent on benefits. . . .... Maybe someone should investigate this to see if this is truly what's going on.
  • by sparky Location: Western Wisconsin on Jan 28, 2012 at 08:56 PM
    God Bless Walker!! He does it again!!!!!175 jobs!!!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM in reply to sparky
      How in the world do you figure that he had any hand in that?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 29, 2012 at 03:58 PM in reply to sparky
      These weren't jobs created, nor are they new jobs. Weather Shield just shut down plants in Mosinee and Greenwood not too long ago. They are just moving a portion of those jobs to Ladysmith. Educate yourself before you praise your blessed saint!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 29, 2012 at 04:45 PM in reply to sparky
      I thought government didn't create jobs. Would you right wing radicals PLEASE get together and get your ever changing slogans straight??
  • by Rusk County resident on Jan 28, 2012 at 03:19 PM
    Any jobs are good news here, but these will be barely minimum wage jobs with no benefits, 40 hours doubtful, and bare minimum insurance. Most of these jobs were here to begin with and then taken away and moved to Mosinee. Mosinee workers wouldn't make the concessions so Weathershield is moving them back where residents in Rusk Co are desperate and have no choices. Kind of a good news bad news scenario.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 28, 2012 at 12:11 PM
    I hope the previous unemployed from Weathershield are hired back.
  • by Paul Location: chippewa on Jan 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM
    Glad to hear this. Ladysmith really does need the jobs.
  • by Fedup Location: Upnorth on Jan 28, 2012 at 10:25 AM
    Why were the jobs moved from the Mosinee area, just curious.
  • by Captain Obvious Location: Eau Claire on Jan 28, 2012 at 10:01 AM
    Keep up the GREAT work Mr. Walker! The things you are doing are starting to show...hopefully everyone can realize that! Thanks for ALL you do!!!
    • reply
      by Bruce Gal on Jan 29, 2012 at 10:53 AM in reply to Captain Obvious
      Captain, this has nothing to do with Walker.
    • reply
      by will on Jan 29, 2012 at 01:00 PM in reply to Captain Obvious
      Jobs from one WI city to another isn't good news. It probably means there is an incentive to do it for the company, like low paid workers. Another loop hole. Sometimes, mr. Captain Obvious it is obvious like what Rockwell did, fire everyone (even the 15 year people) and then hire them (the same ones that got fired) for starting pay again, no or little vacations etc... that is what Unions prevent.. or should prevent. Just the same as the seat belt law. Drivers were not smart enough to put them on so someone had to make it a law and tell us how to be safe. Companies will not do the right thing unless they are forced to. Walker....pft.
      • reply
        by Hippie on Jan 30, 2012 at 05:28 AM in reply to will
        Or...lay them off and then call them back through a temporary agency. That is what Hutchinson Technology has been doing. They actually give a list of names to Express; Express calls and asks them to go back to their same job, this time at a reduced pay with no benefits. Right...the employers really care about the employees.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 29, 2012 at 04:46 PM in reply to Captain Obvious
      Hook...line...and sinker...
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