Gov. Walker speaks in Whitewater about the 400 jobs Generac created

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Melissa Holstein guides Gov. Scott Walker on a tour around the Whitewater Generac plant after Walker spoke about the company's dedication to the state. Photo by Dennis Ottosen / ottosenda17

Monday morning the CEO of Generac Power Systems, Aaron Jagdfeld, announced the planned creation of more than 400 jobs over the next year. Gov. Scott Walker was at the Whitewater plant to help make the announcement.

Most of the new jobs, from entry level to management, will be in Whitewater, Waukesha, and Eagle. The others will be at Magnum Products in Berlin, Wis.

Jagdfeld, former UW-Whitewater student and member of the Warhawk track and field team, said the spike in job openings is due to an increased demand for generators driven primarily by the massive power outages around the country, such as the major power outage caused by early snow on the east coast. Over a million people were left without power after the snowstorm.

“We expect that demand will grow over the next several quarters as homeowners look to protect themselves from future power outages,” Jagdfeld said.

Generac is attempting to fill the new positions within the next three months. The company is holding a job fair from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. tonight at its Waukesha headquarters. Generac will be hiring for all open positions in manufacturing and engineering.

“We’ve made a career, so-to-speak, of making sure we add new jobs in this state,” Jagdfeld said. “We’re very committed to manufacturing here in the U.S.”

Walker also spoke highly of Generac and the company’s dedication to the state.

“[Generac] will hire hundreds of new workers in family-supporting jobs in both engineering and manufacturing,” Walker said. “This is great news for Wisconsin families.”

After the job announcement, Walker took a guided tour of the factory, shaking hands with workers and examining their work.

“I want to thank Generac for their commitment to Wisconsin and for growing business here,” Walker said.
Generac reported on Nov. 1 its third-quarter profit had increased 63 percent from a year ago, to $37.4 million. Jagdfeld said home generators accounted for more than two-thirds of that revenue.

Rep. Evan Wynn was also on hand at the event. Wynn said these new jobs could be beneficial to students at UW-Whitewater.

“It will create a better economical climate in Whitewater, which always causes growth and growth is a good thing,” Wynn said.