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Bismarck industrial heater plant to close in July

BISMARCK -- The makers of MAC industrial heaters has laid off the majority of its Bismarck workforce and will close the local manufacturing facility at the end of July.

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BISMARCK -- The makers of MAC industrial heaters has laid off the majority of its Bismarck workforce and will close the local manufacturing facility at the end of July.

“Generac ... announced the decision to consolidate manufacturing operations, resulting in the closure of our Bismarck facility, which was primarily responsible for production of the Generac|Mac Heater line of products. These products remain an important part of our complete product portfolio and production will permanently transition to an existing facility in Wisconsin without an impact to customers,” Gordon Michaelson, vice president of mobile operations, said in a statement.

On Feb. 17, 50 employees were laid off, with the remaining 23 employees at the Bismarck plant losing their jobs between now and July 29.

Wisconsin-based Generac Holdings Inc. purchased local company MAC Inc. in October 2014.

MAC came to Bismarck in late 2010, occupying the former Kirschmann Manufacturing Co. building on Indiana Avenue. The plant that had once turned out Spra-Coupes and, later, Bobcat Co. products, was buzzing again.

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Founded in Glenburn in 1983 by Paul Christianson, who wanted a better way to dry grain, MAC would grow into a manufacturer of portable, heavy duty heaters for industries such as energy and mining, airlines and construction.

"We're going to put Bismarck manufacturing on the map," said Mike Seifert, the company's chief executive in 2010.

At the time, MAC employed 40 people in Bismarck, many of whom were former Bobcat workers. The company had 100 employees at the time of its sale to Generac.

"We never want to hear about a shutdown and, more importantly, don't like to see employees become displaced," said Bismarck-Mandan Development Association Executive Director Brian Ritter.

However, with more than 2,000 open jobs in the Bismarck-Mandan area, he said the outlook for re-employment of those workers is good.

"Folks with those skill sets have very bright prospects of being re-employed .... I think there is more manufacturing presence in Bismarck than there has ever been," said Ritter, pointing to Bobcat contractor Menlo Worldwide Logistics and Midwest Manufacturing near McKenzie as examples, as well as smaller companies, such as Stur-D Products and Innovative Solutions LLC.

Related Topics: BISMARCK
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