Companies’ expansions create new jobs in Walworth County

Wisconsin Oven Corp. and parent company Thermal Product Solutions (TPS) have announced a significant investment in Walworth County that includes the purchase of a new facility to accommodate their Blue M laboratory oven product line and provide additional manufacturing space for their expanding operations.

The companies anticipate hiring 80 to 90 new full-time technical employees, who will join Wisconsin Oven’s existing staff of 137 at the company’s growing campus in East Troy. Company executives selected the location after considering other sites throughout the country.

WCEDA and its East Troy subsidiary, ETCDA, were proud to have collaborated with WEDC and Milwaukee 7. WEDC (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation) is providing $500,000 in performance-based business development tax credits toward this project.

This collaborative effort is also exploring assistance through the Department of Administration’s Community Block Grant program as well as state and federal assistance toward training needs.

Wisconsin Oven had two options in other states for this expansion. We are grateful that the company’s leadership chose East Troy and will do whatever we can to assist them with their needs going forward.

I am also pleased to note in this latest column some breaking news from Lake Geneva:

Plasti-Coil announced recently that the company would undertake a 20,000 square-foot expansion for a company that it recently acquired called Tri-Tec. The addition, which will cost about $2 million, will more than double the workforce at the current plant site from 22 to 47, according to owner Larry Austin who lives in Walworth.

The company had an official groundbreaking ceremony this month to kick off the building project. Austin expressed his gratitude to a number of groups and organizations who had helped make this possible, particularly his employees and the Lake Geneva Development Corporation.

He explained that this site is a beautiful location for his business and that he walks the business park nearly every day. When Austin purchased this business a few years ago and chose to invest in this company and continued investments, because he believes in U.S. manufacturing and our local workforce.

Not all economic development takes place in our county’s many industrial parks. Also in Lake Geneva, expansion is on the way for an established senior living facility.

Golden Years of Walworth has begun construction on an additional facility in Lake Geneva. The for-profit Golden Years campus will be designed to provide a continuum of care, including independent living, rehabilitation services, assisted living options, memory care and long-term care.

When completed, the senior living center is expected to contain 202,000 square feet of floor area and 171 residential units. The owners plan to develop the site in phases over 10 to 15 years.

The first phase will be a 30-bed skilled nursing home with 50 employees. When completed, the Lake Geneva Golden Years is expected to have 55 to 70 independent living apartments, 30 to 36 assisted living apartments, 15 to 20 memory care (Alzheimer’s and dementia) assisted living apartments and 30 to 45 skilled nursing care beds.

The facility will also provide rehabilitation services. The success of their business has enabled them to expand their operations, which will not affect their facility in Walworth. Owners Rich and Linda Austin are natives of Walworth County.

As with the developments at Wisconsin Oven in East Troy and PlastiCoil in Lake Geneva, the plans by the Austins at Golden Years represent a significant investment in our communities and a great opportunity for our local workforce.

One of our assets is our strong relationship with local, regional, and state economic partners. If your company is considering a major expansion in southeastern Wisconsin, please contact WCEDA at

By Derek D’Auria, Executive Director, WCEDA

Published with permission from The Beacon & Good Humour, June 16, 2017.