Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker today joined employees of Empire Level (Empire), a division of Milwaukee Tool, and local officials to celebrate its commitment to manufacturing growth in Wisconsin. With more than 200 employees, Empire is driving growth and job creation in Wisconsin through partnerships with Milwaukee Tool, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), Milwaukee 7, and local governments.
Milwaukee Tool invested $16 million to strengthen Empire since acquiring the company in 2014. This investment supported plant upgrades, over 150 new products, and more than 80 incremental hires.
“Empire Level and Milwaukee Tool have shown an outstanding commitment to growth and creating new manufacturing jobs right here in Wisconsin,” Governor Walker said. “Both of these long-time Wisconsin companies are teaming up with local colleges and universities on worker training initiatives to close the skills gap and recruit engineering talent. The commitment shown by companies like Milwaukee Tool and Empire is a major reason why Wisconsin will continue to lead the way in manufacturing and worker training.”
Founded in 1919, Empire is a Mukwonago, Wis.-based manufacturer of precision layout tools, and is the fastest-growing layout brand in North America. The company introduced such industry-firsts as the Monovial, the Torpedo Level, and the Magnetic Level, and its products are sold in more than 50 countries.
Milwaukee Tool is a Brookfield, Wis.-based manufacturer of cordless power tools, professional hand tools, and accessories. With its $16 million investment in Empire, Milwaukee Tool has rebuilt a 100-year MADE IN THE USA brand with a reputation for quality.
“Empire Level’s success is a testament to our commitment of driving growth and creating new jobs in Wisconsin,” said Milwaukee Tool Group President Steve Richman. “The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer, recognizes Empire as the fastest-growing and largest U.S. manufacturer of levels. Our strategic partnership has delivered tremendous growth which is focused on developing innovative solutions for our users and The Home Depot customers. The investments we’ve made in people, training, plant upgrades, and quality processes at Empire will allow us to continue delivering on this partnership.”
In February 2016, WEDC awarded $18 million in enterprise zone tax credits to support expansion efforts by Milwaukee Tool. The credits are tied to job retention, job creation, and capital investment.