• Groundbreaking held for Matalco plant in Wisconsin Rapids

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    October 09, 2019

    The rain did little to sour the mood in Wisconsin Rapids Tuesday morning, where officials gathered to break ground on the $80 million Matalco aluminum recycling plant.

    "This represents our fifth plant," said Matalco VP for Corporate development Robert Roscetti. "We landed on this area for the location, proximity to our customer base, and the [potental] to expand our market base and geographic footprint."

    The plant will take in scrap aluminum and convert it to billets that will go out to be re-purposed by customers across the region. The recycled material is used for everything from wheel rims to home furnishings and windows. The plant will work with 6000 series aluminum, meaning they won't be recycling your typical beverage containers.

    Current plans call for 80 permanent, full-time jobs to be filled by the plant. Many of those jobs will involve hiring skilled labor, while some office workers will also be needed. Roscetti says with the investment in equipment, they can't afford anything less than top talent.

    "We're spending over $40 million on equipment, so we will look for certain skill sets that are going to demand higher pay," Roscetti says the economic impact doesn't end there. He estimates the number of indirect jobs supported by the plant to be between 120 and 150.

    Some of the aluminum recycled by the facility will be sent to Crystal Finishings in Schofield for use in their products.

    Work at the site in the Rapids East Commerce Center has been underway for several weeks, although it may not seem that way to the naked eye. Roscetti says crews are working to dig a hole for what will become the facility's casting pit. They are also laying the footings for the building and other underground infrastructure.

    Roscetti and others with the company have also left the door open for future development in Wisconsin Rapids besides the plant itself. "Right now, it's just the plant but we are sitting on 60 acres here. We could potentially bring in another division to occupy some of this space. We have an additional 30 acres that we could grow."

    Officials including Mayor Zach Vruwink and Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce President Angel Whitehead spoke alongside State Representative Scott Krug of Nekoosa. Several officials from Matalco also spoke.

    The Canadian firm will receive around $2 million in tax credits and incentives from both the city and the state in exchange for building the plant in Wisconsin Rapids. Roscetti called it an aggressive package that checked off all of their boxes.

    Additionally, WE Energies has been working to upgrade infrastructure in the city to help meet the power and gas needs of the plant along with the expansion of the nearby ND Paper mill in Biron.

    Krug called the project an example of how the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has helped bring new industries to the state. "We've got 80 full-time jobs coming now because we put the right hands at the decision-making table. It's not bureaucrats deciding anymore, it's people with business experience, and they are drawing business opportunities to Central Wisconsin."

    Krug adds that nearly a dozen projects in the Rapids area have benefited from WEDC, including the Tribune Building revitalization and the new Boys and Girls Club/YMCA facility.

    Article provided https://wsau.com/news/articles/2019/oct/01/groundbreaking-held-for-matalco-plant-in-wisconsin-rapids/942929/