APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – “As essential workers, our Firefighters around are depending upon these products so we have to keep working,” said Stephen Kohler, Director of Human Resources for Pierce Manufacturing. A subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation, Pierce is the largest manufacturer of Fire Engines and equipment in the world. “These products are about saving lives,” explained Kohler.
The company currently employs 2,600 people and work has not stopped, even with the pandemic. Dave Klemp has been with Pierce for 25 years and says he enjoys his job. “The best part of my job, that’s tough. I enjoy the people that I work with,” said Klemp. He also says he has never missed a paycheck and his job has allowed him to purchase a home and support his family comfortably.
WFRV’s Eric Richards was granted a tour of the facility in Appleton where hundred, if not thousands of vehicles are built from the ground up, custom to each Fire Department’s liking. “It can be a long planning process. We sell to all sorts of customers, volunteer departments, some full-time departments,” said Joe Sell, Director of Engineering. Sell says, no one engine is the same. “Everything is custom made, from the lights to the designs on the grilles,” explained Sell.
On Wednesday afternoon, the company announced that it has entered an agreement with the City of Portland, Oregon to build a zero-emission Fire Engine with Volterra. To see the full release, click here. The city of Maddison Fire Department currently has one zero-emission vehicle in service.
As you can imagine, with new agreements on production being made daily, there is a need to fill positions of employment within Pierce. There is a hiring event scheduled for Thursday, October 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pierce Manufacturing Training Facility located at 2602 American Drive in Appleton. If you can’t make it to the event, you can apply online here. There is also an education reimbursement program available for employees.