Grove hiring again

May 29, 2004|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Grove Worldwide, which entered the decade with a decline in business and layoffs that dropped employment at the giant crane maker from around 2,500 in the mid-1990s to less than 1,000 in 2002, is hiring again, company officials said.

Since last fall, around 175 workers have been recalled.

Still needed, said Steve Khail, spokesman for Wisconsin-based Manitowoc Company, are about 50 skilled welders, machinists and assemblers, engineers and production planners.

Manitowoc bought Grove in August 2002 for $270 million, a move that local economic development officials said at the time saved Grove from going under.

Grove had filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001, which cut its debt by more than half, from $584 million to around $205 million.


Khail said moving Grove's National Crane operations from Nebraska to Shady Grove has helped to increase business locally.

Grove Worldwide's name today is Manitowoc Crane Group, Shady Grove.

The demand for boom truck and mobile cranes, along with tower cranes, which are built by Potain, a Manitowoc subsidiary in France, is improving worldwide, Khail said.

The need for cranes in the construction, energy and petrochemical industries is helping to drive up business at Grove and other Manitowoc manufacturing facilities, he said.

Tower and mobile cranes are sold worldwide, while boom-truck and crawler cranes primarily are sold in North America, Khail said.

Grove went out of the aerial manlift business earlier this year.

The Manitowoc crane group will introduce 11 new models at an upcoming international trade show in Munich this year, Khail said.

A total of 16 new models will be introduced this year following the 15 brought into production last year, he said.

L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation, said Tuesday that the increased business that Grove is experiencing "is causing it to expand its manufacturing operation and is putting it in a hiring mode."

The Manitowoc Company is a $1.6-billion, diversified, multi-industry, capital goods manufacturer headquartered in Manitowoc, Wis.

Founded in 1902 as a Great Lakes shipbuilder, Manitowoc has evolved into a global manufacturer with an employee base of 7,700 that is spread over 28 facilities in six countries and three continents.

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