Generac adds 400 jobs.

Generac to add over 400 jobs at Wisconsin plants

Strong sales growth, helped in part by Hurricane Irene and other natural disasters, is leading generator manufacturer Generac Holdings Inc. to add over 400 new jobs at its factories in Waukesha and other Wisconsin communities.

Generac announced Monday it will add 300 to 400 jobs in Waukesha, Whitewater and Eagle, along with 50 to 60 jobs at its recently acquired Magnum Products LLC subsidiary in Berlin. Magnum makes portable light towers, portable generators and pumps used at construction sites.

Waukesha-based Generac, which now has 1,500 to 1,600 employees, plans to hire most of the new workers within 90 days, said company spokeswoman Heather Shannon Gaedtke. All of the new employees will be hired within the next year, she said.

Generac won't release pay data, but all of the jobs pay family-supporting wages and salaries, Gaedtke said.

The new positions range from entry-level to management, and include engineers, designers and technicians, a company statement said.

All of Generac's manufacturing facilities are in Wisconsin. Less than 2% of its workforce was union members as of Dec. 31, according to the company's annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company isn't receiving any public financing assistance in connection with the expansion, which is fueled by increased demand for its products, said Art Aiello, a company media relations specialist.

Generac on Nov. 1 reported that its third-quarter profit increased nearly 63%, to $37.4 million, or 55 cents a share, compared with $23 million, or 34 cents a share, for the same period last year.

Sales jumped 49% to $239.3 million, compared with $160.7 million during the year-earlier period.

Generac saw record shipments of its home generators during the third quarter after major power outages occurred in the Midwest and along the East Coast, President and Chief Executive Officer Aaron Jagdfeld said in last week's earnings announcement. Home generators accounted for more than two-thirds of the company's third quarter revenue.

"Our sustained efforts over the past three years to build a leading position in the market for portable generators resulted in a sharp increase in sales due to the increased demand for these products in the third quarter," Jagdfeld said, in a statement. "We also saw increased demand for our home standby generators in the quarter and we expect that demand will grow over the next several quarters as homeowners look to protect themselves from future power outages."

The company expects its home generator sales in the fourth quarter to increase by over 30%, Jagdfeld said.

Job fair planned

Generac is holding a job fair from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at its Waukesha headquarters, S45-W29290 Highway 59.