Hundreds attend job fair in Brillion


BRILLION - A Brillion manufacturing company is hiring just days after two other area companies, Oshkosh Defense and Cenveo, announced massive layoffs.

Ariens held a job fair Saturday to fill more than 200 full-time positions. Hundreds of potential applicants showed up.

"I'm very interested in factory work so that's why I'm here. I just think it would be a nice place to work," said Hope Lutze.

The company employs around 1,200 people. Ariens makes outdoor equipment like lawn mowers and snow blowers.

"Since 2010 our sales have increased over 50 percent," said Ginger King, Ariens human resources vice president.

And that's why the company plans to hire 250 new employees.

"We've largely used seasonal or temporary help to fill manufacturing positions. We're changing that model. We're hiring full-time Ariens positions with Ariens benefits."

The company says at times it has been difficult to find qualified workers to fill their open positions but this time is different.

"One of the things that's been helpful for us is there have been some layoffs announced this week so we've seen an uptick in the level of skilled labor people that are here today," King said.

Some job candidates say job security is always a concern.

"Since I'm young, I want to be able to get into a business where I can grow and move up the totem pole. I just want a steady job where I don't have to worry about being laid off," said Mike Malchek.

Ariens says it plans on keeping the new hires for the long term.

"We're hiring people for a career with our company. One of the things that we're really known for is longevity in employment," King said.

It appears Ariens is looking to quickly expand its workforce. One hundred people have already been offered a new job.

King says the company plans to offer more jobs throughout the week.