A company that started in 1977 as a few people making t-shirts and bumper stickers in a garage is now celebrating 40 years. Part of that celebration is a 47,000 square foot expansion of their facilities in La Crosse.
That expansion is expected to add more than 40 manufacturing jobs at DuraTech industries. Officials broke ground for that expansion Wednesday morning. The project, expected to be complete by the end of 2017, will connect two buildings currently separated by an empty space, solving a number of issues along the way.
"We've developed some new products and technology that have really grown our sales in the appliance industry. Once we had to put a press into our lunchroom, we knew it was time that we needed to start the expansion," said DuraTech's President Peter Johnson. "[We're excited about] having our clean rooms installed, having a lunchroom back and not having to travel with our product outside from building to building."
Making continued growth for 40 years is no small feat in the business world, something DuraTech said is all thanks to employees.
"Their continued dedication to the company is amazing," said DuraTech Owner Justin Pretasky. "They're here each and every day, doing what they are supposed to be doing, but doing it with pride. That shows and that's the reason why we're growing."
And that growth in La Crosse is expected to continue.
"Once the addition is at full capacity, that will bring our job totals up to about 200 new employees with a grand total of about 500 for this location once it's completely full," Johnson said.
Though the new building is not set to be finished until the end of the year, DuraTech said interested applicants shouldn't wait to look into employment. They currently have 12 new positions available.