Wells Vehicle Electronics, a global manufacturer of vehicle electronics solutions has broken ground on its new corporate headquarters and electronics plant expansion project in Fond du Lac, WI.
Since 1903, Wells has called different locations in Fond du Lac home, but space requirements and modern equipment needs at its current 100-plus-year-old facility have caused the company to house employees in three buildings in Fond du Lac. This new $7.1 million project will integrate employees at the headquarters being constructed adjacent to the company’s current electronics manufacturing complex.
The new 64,000 square-foot facility will feature administrative offices, engineering labs, test labs, a state-of-the-art automotive tech garage and a tool room to support new product development. It will expand Wells’ Fond du Lac-based manufacturing space by 40 percent.
“As our industry evolves and our business grows, so does the need for office space and engineering labs to continue to deliver advanced technological solutions throughout the world,” Dave Peace, president of Wells, said.
Fond du Lac City Council President Rick Gudex and Fond du Lac County Executive (FCEDC) Director Steve Jenkins recognize the positive economic impact the new facility brings.
“This plan truly exemplifies public-private cooperation that benefits the community in quality jobs and tax base enhancement. It shows that our community is pro-business,” Jenkins said during the ground breaking ceremony.
In addition to retaining 214 jobs, Wells Vehicle Electronics will grow its employee base by more than 30 percent in the next three years.
“With the help of the city, county and state, Wells was able to maintain our highly skilled workforce right here in the company’s birthplace. As a result, we can improve our infrastructure so that our plant and headquarters will adequately reflect our status as one of the very best suppliers in our industry,” Peace said.
Funding for the project comes in part by a $500,000 forgivable loan from Fond du Lac County and FCEDC and a $1 million Tax Incremental Financing district created by the city. Wells also is eligible for $1.25 million in tax credits through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Once construction is complete Wells will vacate the building on Brooke Street and turn it over to the city.