Mercury Marine plans expansion of Wisconsin factory

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Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corp., launched a $20 million expansion at its headquarters and outboard engine factory in Fond du Lac, Wis.

The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013 and will result in additional manufacturing jobs and new positions in engineering and product development, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Mercury employs more than 5,000 worldwide, including about 2,550 in Fond du Lac. Much of the expansion stems from the company closing a 700,000-square-foot plant in Stillwater, Okla., and moving the work to Fond du Lac.

Mercury also dissolved a joint venture with Cummins Diesel, which resulted in diesel engine work being moved from Charleston, S.C., to Fond du Lac.

The company is seeking about 30 hourly employees for manufacturing jobs. It's also seeking salaried engineers.

"We have been hiring all summer," Mercury spokesman Steve Fleming told the paper.

State officials offered the company $70 million, mostly in the form of refundable tax credits, to protect jobs. Fond du Lac County gave the company a $50 million loan, paid for by a 0.5 percent sales tax, and the city of Fond du Lac offered $3 million in financial aid.

Mercury has added about 950 jobs in the community during the past three years, many of them from bringing the Stillwater work to Wisconsin.

Much of the hiring in Fond du Lac is tied to engineering and product development work.

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