North Dakota

ND: New Business Plans for Oakes Manufacturing Plant

8 Sep, 2011

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Governor Jack Dalrymple congratulated Harris Machine Co. recently for purchasing the former Oshkosh Defense manufacturing plant in Oakes, N.D., which was slated for closure.

"This is good news for the city of Oakes and the region," Dalrymple said. "Harris Machine is a locally owned company that plans to grow its manufacturing business and employment."

Officials at Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corp. - the parent company of Oshkosh Defense and the former plant operator, JLG Industries - planned on closing the Oakes plant Wednesday, Aug. 31. Oshkosh Defense manufactured metal components for military vehicles and other equipment.

Harris Machine Co.'s purchase of the former Oshkosh Defense manufacturing plant and its equipment means the facility will remain open and support the region's job market. Jay and Nick Harris, co-owners of Harris Machine which specializes in the fabrication of metal components, said they plan to continue expanding their business and employment opportunities.

Jay Harris said his goal for the new plant is to increase Harris Machine's customer base, expand its production and to reach the employment level maintained in recent years by Oshkosh Defense and the preceding plant operator, JLG Industries. Purchasing the manufacturing plant and its equipment will enable Harris Machine Co. to enhance its capabilities to serve additional regional manufacturers and existing customers, he said.

Dalrymple contacted Oshkosh Corp. executives after they announced plans to close the Oakes manufacturing plant in hopes of persuading them to maintain their North Dakota operation. The Governor's Office also worked with local officials to recruit a new business to operate the plant and provide jobs.

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