Volm Companies officers broke ground this morning for a 37,000 square foot addition to its Freshtech facilities just north of the Clermont Street and Amron Avenue intersection.
With the Freshtech building as a backdrop, Volm officials joined contractors, bank representatives and Antigo Mayor Bill Brandt for the formal groundbreaking. It happened while trucks and backhoes were preparing the site — a project that got started earlier today.
Michael Hunter II, plant manager for Volm Manufacturing, offered thanks for the people who supported the project including the M&I/BMO Harris Bank, Urban Construction and the cooperation from staff within the corporation.
Mayor Brandt said the project “means a lot to this community,” and said the expansion and added personnel to the already substantial staff in Antigo is an endorsement of the quality of labor available here.
Mike Kilinski, president of Urban Construction Co., general contractor on the project, offered a thank you to the Volm Companies “for allowing us to be your contractor.”
Hunter and Tom Stenz, maintenance manager for Volm Manufacturing, stressed that many of the subcontractors working with Urban are local firms.
Stenz said the local firms have been “easy to work with,” and were hired on the basis of merit. They include G&B Masonry of Wisconsin, MVP Plumbing, North Central Mechanical and Stibbe Excavating and Grading.
Dennis DeLoye, senior vice president of commercial banking for M&I/BMO Harris Bank stressed the local nature of the project.
He noted there is a local bank involved, stressing his long ties with the Volm Companies and M&I/HMO Harris Bank.
“This is a three generation company,” DeLoye said, noting that his association with it started with Gerald Volm and has now moved well into that third generation.
John Bandsma, CFO/COO with Volm Companies, said that the project was not only designed to make the firm more competitive, but offer better service to customers.
“We are pleased to expand in Antigo,” he said, noting the quality of the workforce here.
The addition to the Freshtech complex will allow introduction of new equipment, production increases and create a more competitive market for the packaging industry.
The firm has a tremendous impact on the economy of Antigo and Langlade County.
There are currently 146 employees at its three production locations and an additional 62 at its distribution site.
The completion date for the building is scheduled for March, 2013, with new equipment introduced immediately and production getting underway in April.
The company dates back more than 75 years, when the family patriarch, Gerald Volm, opened a business in Bryant that sold and eventually printed bags for the area potato-growing industry.
The company has expanded to be one of the largest providers of fresh produce packaging and equipment used in that industry in North America. It serves customers from its corporate home in Antigo and locations in Idaho Falls, Idaho and Pasco, Wash.