$14 million capital investment expected to create 70 jobs
MADISON – Lavelle Industries Inc., a leading rubber and plastics manufacturer, is expanding its operations in Wisconsin due to growing market demand for its Korky toilet repair and custom rubber molded products. The expansion is expected to create 70 new jobs, and an economic modeling study estimates the project could indirectly generate 61 additional jobs in the region.
“Since relocating its headquarters from Chicago to Burlington in 1987, Lavelle has continued to grow here and now has over 500 employees in our state. We applaud this century-old company for its success as well as its ongoing commitment to Wisconsin,” said Governor Scott Walker. “Lavelle is yet another example of the many Wisconsin companies that are expanding here because of our strong economy, outstanding business climate and dedicated workforce.”
“Founded in 1912, Lavelle continues to grow by adding new products and focusing on our customers,” said company president and majority owner Rhonda Sullivan. “Manufacturing in Wisconsin is a competitive advantage for us.”
The first phase of the expansion is currently underway at the Whitewater facility, where the company has already started construction on an addition. Over the next three years, the company plans to invest up to $14 million in additional equipment, technology, building infrastructure and staffing to support increasing business in Burlington and Whitewater.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is supporting the expansion by awarding Lavelle up to $520,000 in state income tax credits over the next three years. The actual amount of tax credits Lavelle will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created and the amount of capital investment the company makes during that time.
Local and regional economic development officials congratulated the company on its expansion plans.
“Lavelle is a great example of a company that is growing its operations and workforce thanks in part to the business advantages available in the Milwaukee Region,” said Jim Paetsch, vice president of expansion and attraction for the Milwaukee 7 economic development partnership. “We are proud to work with Lavelle – an outstanding manufacturer making a significant investment in the future.”
“We are grateful that Lavelle is investing in Burlington at this exciting time in Racine County’s history,” said Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave. “Local businesses like Lavelle are the backbone of our community and our state, and we are deeply appreciative of the company’s commitment to even more family-sustaining jobs.”
“We are so pleased that Lavelle has decided to expand its operations in Wisconsin -- right here in Whitewater and Burlington. It’s a top-rate company that continues to grow by treating its employees well and incorporating innovation into its products and services,” said Derek D’Auria, executive director of the Walworth County Economic Development Alliance. “It’s also another great example of the revitalization of manufacturing in Wisconsin and the U.S.”
A nationally recognized woman-owned business, Lavelle is committed to ensuring its products are made in the USA by designing and manufacturing goods in Wisconsin. Using proprietary rubber formulas and processes, Lavelle meets the unique specifications of its OEM industrial customers. Its Korky-branded toilet flappers, fill valves, flush valves, plungers and levers are sold through home centers, hardware stores, mass merchandisers and wholesale channels coast-to-coast.
Today’s announcement comes as Governor Walker has declared October as Wisconsin Manufacturing Month to celebrate the accomplishments and the future of this key industry. Wisconsin manufacturers produced more than $57 billion worth of output in 2015, accounting for 19 percent of the state’s gross domestic product. The state’s 9,500 manufacturers employ more than 465,000 workers.