Alliance Laundry Systems, headquartered in Ripon, Wis., recently closed on the purchase of the former Manitowoc Crane Company plant in Manitowoc, Wis.

The more than 330,000-square-foot location will be used to help grow production at Alliance’s Ripon facility. In addition, the move will create up to 250 positions, helping boost the Manitowoc economy and reopening the now-shuttered plant.

“Today marks an exciting new chapter in our company’s 111-year history,” said Mike Schoeb, CEO of Alliance Laundry Systems. “By shifting some functions to the new facility, we will be able to grow high value production locally and increase the output of this factory with additional job creation in both communities. This truly is a win for Ripon, Manitowoc and Alliance Laundry Systems.”

Plans called for work to begin in Manitowoc in early September. The move is not intended to reduce positions in Ripon, as staff will be redeployed elsewhere in the facility.

“Despite expansions through the years, our Ripon plant is capped out and struggles to remain fully staffed up,” said Brad Nye, vice president of manufacturing for Alliance Laundry Systems. “This means excessive overtime and a poor work-life balance for employees.

“As we anticipate significant increased demand for the high-quality Ripon products, we had to find a way to drive efficiency, increase production and maintain our commitment to our team members along with the Ripon community. We needed to do this against the backdrop of achieving 2025 goals. This plan is a critical component that enables us to unlock the potential of the Ripon plant – growing jobs and production toward our vision of creating a world-class manufacturing facility that fully leverages technology by 2025.”

Alliance will begin hiring for the Manitowoc facility immediately and all jobs will be United Steel Workers positions with pay and benefits aligned with the Ripon location.

“We are excited to welcome Alliance Laundry Systems to our area after months of negotiations to facilitate the successful purchase of the former Manitowoc Crane building,” said Peter Wills, executive director of Progress Lakeshore, which helped Alliance with negotiations. “The purchase of this property by a large industrial manufacturer is significant in moving the community forward after the loss of a major employer in 2016.”

Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels said the arrival of Alliance Laundry Systems is positive news for his community and Manitowoc County as a whole.

“Today, we can see our always resilient community step back up, thanks to Alliance’s announcement to occupy a large Manitowoc company facility and bring many good-paying jobs back to Manitowoc,” Nickels said. “Most importantly, we are thrilled that Alliance is dedicated to giving back to their communities.”

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