Drive on Interstate 90 near the Brandon exit and you can't help but notice all the activity at the old Tower Tech System building that never opened three years ago. A Canadian company called Marmen Energy has taken over the facility and is expanding it. It's also hiring dozens of people.
There's nothing small going on inside this plant on the edge of Brandon. From the size of the facility--well over 160,000 square feet when complete--to the product being made inside, gigantic wind towers.
"In this area, we can cover South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota; a lot of area where wind turbines will be installed, so it's a very nice place to be located," Vincent Trudel of Marmen said.
Quebec-based Marmen Energy has orders to fill. It's already started the beginning of the welding process in the plant.
"Wind tower production is about 20 different processes and up to now we have five of those process started," Trudel said.
And it's hired 50 workers, from mechanics to welders to assemblers. It's adding about one employee a day with 200 more jobs to fill.
"You see this company advertised all over the country. You see their products going down the interstate; you just hear a lot of good things about them," Mike Hood said.
Mike Hood is a welder from Yankton who is interviewing for one of those jobs.
"From what I heard, it's a really good place to work for. Pays really good, benefits really good; looking forward to it," Hood said.
"Good conditions, good salaries; challenging job for somebody that loves steel, loves to the see the product. At the end of the day, you're proud of what you're making. You're part of something," Trudel said.
This 50,000 square foot addition the company is adding is where the towers will be painted. The manufacturing facility should be fully operational by the end of October, with hiring complete by 2014.
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