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Local

Sewer Equipment Company of America looking for more workers

‘Business is very good’

OK, like the little book says, everyone poops, but that’s not the only reason Sewer Equipment Company of America is doing so well: Some good business decisions and an improving economy also are spurring expansion at the Dixon manufacturer.

The company makes sewer and drain-cleaning equipment, vacuum trucks and trailers, and “business is very good,” said John Wichmann, the company’s executive vice president of operations.

When the company moved to Dixon from Chadwick in late 2012, it started with 70 workers, and promised to hire 30 more.

“We’re north of 100 today, and looking to add another 10” – six assembly workers, a couple of welders, and a couple of painters, Wichmann said.

When the company moved into the former Johnson Controls building at 1590 Dutch Road, it was using only 60,000 of 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space, but it since has moved into 20,000 more square feet and expects to be using the rest by the third quarter, Wichmann said.

Wichmann attributes the company’s good fortune to a strengthening economy, and to a decision 5 to 8 years ago to expand into a couple of markets beyond municipalities, its traditional customer.

The company, in business for more than 70 years, pursued opportunities in the industrial sector, of which the growing energy and utility businesses are components, and also into the plumbing sector, targeting businesses like Roto Rooter.

In addition, thanks to the recovering economy, municipalities that cut back during lean times are seeing their tax base start to grow again, and so are investing more in their infrastructure, he said.

Sewer Equipment Company of America is family owned; its president, Dan O’Brien of Connecticut, is the son of founder, Jim O’Brien Sr., who died Sept. 5 at the age of 82.

O’Brien Sr.’s first job was working for his father, who established O’Brien Manufacturing in Chicago in 1953. It made cable, bucket and rodding machines that were used to clean sewers. He carried on the family business, founding Sewer Equipment Co. of America in 1972.

To apply

Those interested in working for the family-owned Sewer Equipment Co. of America in Dixon should apply at www.manpowerjobs.com; call the Manpower office in Dixon at 815-288-7800 with questions.

Learn more about the company at www.sewerequipment.com or on its Facebook page.

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