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Parts for aircraft carriers, submarines made in northeast Wisconsin

October is manufacturing month
Posted at 5:50 PM, Oct 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-06 19:09:34-04

There's a sense of mission at Fox Valley Metal-Tech in Ashwaubenon, a company where the work includes defense manufacturing.

"A lot of attention to detail," said Bill Barker, a machinist, of what goes into the work.

The company, for example, manufactures parts that will be part of an aircraft carrier's electrical system, said John West, the company president.

"There is a lot of pride to our workmanship," said West.

"We often talk to our people about the fact that these items are going into ships and submarines that are going to be deployed for 40 years or more, this product has to be done right."

NBC 26 visited Fox Valley Metal-Tech during manufacturing month. More than 1-in-7 members of Wisconsin's civilian labor force works in manufacturing, according to government data.

Fox Valley Metal-Tech is among the northeast Wisconsin manufacturers looking for employees.

"We're continuing to hire... we have over 20 job openings here," West said.

Workers with experience are hired at $23-$25-per-hour, West said. Some trade workers who paint, weld, or work in machining "make well over $30-an-hour," West said.

Nearly 475,000 Wisconsinites work in manufacturing, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

During the last 30 years, that figure is down from a peak of nearly 600,000 manufacturing workers in 2000, but up since 2010, the numbers show.


Throughout October, manufacturing month, NBC 26 is reporting on manufacturing in northeast Wisconsin.