N53 W24635 S. Corporate Circle, Sussex
In 1971, Waukesha Metal Products was a local two-man tool and die shop. Today, the metal-forming manufacturer employs 115 people, operates factories in two area locations,and exports half of its products to more than 30 countries around the world.
Waukesha Metal Products offers services in engineering, prototyping, tool/die design and build, metalforming, and metal stamping.
Automotive customers remain the company's biggest client, but Waukesha Metal Products also has a presence in the audio market including car multimedia, electronics and electronic controls.
In 2011, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 15 percent over 2010.
Jeffery Clark, the company's president and chief executive officer, expects record company revenues in 2012.
"We've had a good run of growth," Clark said. "We service the heck out of our customers. We have great engineering capabilities and project management. It has lead to recovery in many ways. Manufacturing is up. We're proud to be a part of that."
Clark credits smart engineers and strategic acquisitions for the company's growth. Waukesha Metal Products recently acquired Metal Skills Plus in DeForest, and acquired Parkview Metal Products of Zurich, Ill. in 2009. The latter cemented the company as a world-class metalforming supplier.
"We have a lot of friendly competitors through our industry trade group," Clark said, adding that Wisconsin has a very strong market. But because the company sells to states and countries more than 80 percent of the time, they work together better, than apart.
Along with other firms, the company is working to change the country's perspective on the manufacturing industry. Clark said he wants to show people that becoming a lawyer or a doctor isn't the only way to success. Manufacturing jobs can be the path to a fulfilling career, he said.
"Manufacturing today is highly technical, and highly automated," said Clark. "It's not dark and dingy. You treat employees good and give people an opportunity to grow and most people will stick with an organization."