INDUSTRY: Boom in manufacturing brings optimism, more jobs to other industriesThe people of the greater Superior and Douglas County are expecting to see several more jobs coming to the area very soon.
By: By Melony Brantley/For the Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
The people of the greater Superior and Douglas County are expecting to see several more jobs coming to the area very soon.
Kestrel Aircraft Company announced in January that the company is coming to Superior, which will create up to 600 new positions.
Exodus Machines Inc., a Superior-based company, announced in January that it will be aligning with Caterpillar Inc., meaning an expansion of the company to accommodate increased product creation and distribution. This expansion will mean 170 jobs immediately and 300 over the next six to eight years, according to Bruce Bacon, president of Exodus.
According to Superior City Councilor Warren Bender, Kestrel will break ground this spring and Exodus is still in the planning stages, but the jobs associated with Kestrel and Exodus are numerous.
Construction companies will be busy building the new manufacturing plants, new housing units near the Kestrel site and even collateral businesses associated with the companies.
Alan Klapmeier, chief executive officer and chairman of Kestrel, said in January that a gas station was in the works to be built near the airport to assist with the needs of the employees.
“One would think the service industries, such as restaurants, bars, and hotels, in Superior will also see a boom during the construction phase and potentially after as well,” Bender said.
However, construction jobs, service jobs, the jobs Kestrel and the Exodus expansion will bring to the table are not the only jobs expected to be created. Bender believes jobs in the education field will also appear soon.
“WITC and UWS already have some programs in place, [like] welding and types of fabrication at WITC and Transportation Logistics at UWS,” Bender said, “but will be creating new programs to meet the needs of these industries.” These new programs are likely to bring more jobs to professors who have an educational or professional background in these areas of expertise.
Bender says he believes the two companies and the collateral businesses created in association with them will have a very positive impact on the area.
He says the unemployment rate in Douglas County is around 7.7 percent. While he doesn’t have statistics on how much the unemployment rate would be lowered by these new jobs, he hopes to see a marked decrease.
The jobs coming to Superior won’t just impact the city’s residents. Citizens of the surrounding areas are bound to benefit from the employment opportunities, as well.
“All of these new jobs are exciting for those who live in and around Superior,” said Proctor resident Jackie Eck.
Eck knows firsthand the cost associated with the lack of good-paying jobs in the area. “It means my husband may not have to travel up to the Range to find work. He may be able to work closer to home and spend more time with his family.”
In a world where the future is uncertain, the economic future in and around the Superior are is looking bright.