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WI: Thermal Spray Technologies to Invest $11M to Expand, Add 200 Jobs

9 Oct, 2014


Thermal Spray Technologies Inc. (TST), which develops thermal spray coating solutions for some of the world's top manufacturers, is expanding its facility in Sun Prairie — an $11.5 million project expected to create about 200 new jobs.

TST purchased a 92,000 square-foot building near its existing facility in the Sun Prairie Business Park, which will undergo a complete renovation. Construction is now under way with a completion date projected for early 2015.

The expansion, which ultimately will triple the size of the company’s workforce, is in response to increased customer demand and will enable TST to install state-of-the-art industrial coating and machining technology.

“Thermal Spray Technologies has experienced tremendous growth since it was founded a little more than a decade ago, and I am thrilled the company has decided to continue its commitment to Wisconsin,” said Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who joined company officials in making the jobs announcement today. “This is another example of how our administration has created a pro-business environment that gives Wisconsin’s employers the confidence to grow their companies here.”

“This expansion is reflective of TST’s largest growth, to date,” said Bill Lenling, president of TST. “We are delighted to partner with WEDC through this exciting stage in our company’s history.”

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is securing those jobs by providing TST with up to $750,000 in Economic Development Tax Credits over the next three years. The actual amount of credits received is contingent upon the number of jobs created and the amount of capital investment the company makes.

“WEDC congratulates Thermal Spray Technologies on its continued success and is pleased to be able to assist the company with this major expansion, which will bring more family-supporting jobs to the region,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “In the last two years, our Economic Development Tax Credit Program has helped more than 120 companies create or retain 27,000 jobs—and it is great to see another company utilize this important tool for economic growth.”

The idea for Thermal Spray Technologies came through a graduate research program in the late 1980s at the University of Wisconsin-Madison when a professor approached Richard L. Wilkey, the owner of Fisher Barton, Inc., about using coatings to make lawn mower blades last longer. The program was founded around the idea with funding from the Wisconsin Department of Development and Fisher Barton.

William Lenling was one of two graduate students who worked on the program, which studied different coating technologies, including thermal spraying. After the research was complete, Lenling was hired by Fisher Barton to continue working on the idea of using coatings to make lawnmower blades and other agricultural blades last longer.

In 1992, Fisher Barton separately incorporated Thermal Spray Technologies, and named Lenling its president. In 1994, TST moved from Fisher Barton's facility in Watertown to Sun Prairie. Four years later, the company expanded to a facility more than three times its original size.

TST now employs about 125 workers and manufactures product-specific wear resistant and protective coatings that are used in the aerospace, electronics, agriculture, medical, oil & gas, automotive, power generation, papermaking, printing, food processing, and defense industries.

About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing Wisconsin’s business climate. WEDC nurtures business growth and job creation by providing resources, technical support and financial assistance to companies, partners and communities in Wisconsin. WEDC has four focus areas: business and industry development, economic and community development, entrepreneurship and innovation and international business development. Together with more than 600 regional and local business development partners, it represents a highly responsive and coordinated network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter  @_InWisconsin to learn more.

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