Cool stuff: designed, made and built in Wisconsin

The next time you’re driving down the highway or pass a business park full of what might seem like boring, rectangular buildings, take a few minutes to wonder what might be going on inside. Wisconsin is home to thousands of manufacturers that make a wide range of products, from outboard motors to chips and snacks to bathroom and kitchen products. For every one of those companies, there are also dozens or even hundreds of smaller suppliers that help make the final product. 

These companies all need employees and offer a chance to build a great career. Take a look at the descriptions below to get a better idea of some local products and a glimpse at some recent job openings at these companies.

Medical Radioisotopes

NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes | Beloit, Madison: 
NorthStar uses non-uranium processes to make the medical radioisotope molybdenum-99, which turns into an imaging agent used in diagnostic procedures for heart disease and cancer. 

Jobs at NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes

Manager, Isotopes Manufacturing Engineering: A hands-on position responsible for the transfer of new isotopes production processes and systems into manufacturing, as well as ongoing production support, validation and process improvement for existing isotopes processes. Bachelor’s in engineering with five years of experience. 

Production Planner: Responsible for overseeing and timing the manufacturing processes to support the company business plan. This role will also release and maintain work orders to support multi-location manufacturing, review safety stock and lead time, and prioritize work to meet deadlines.

Kettle Brand chips

Campbell Soup Company | Beloit: The Campbell Soup Company facility in Beloit makes Kettle Brand chips, an intensely flavored potato chip in varieties like jalapeno, honey dijon, Korean barbecue, New York cheddar, and sea salt and vinegar. 

Jobs at Campbell Soup Company

Salty Processing Operator: Cooks raw product in fryers to create a finished product that meets quality standards. Responsibilities include consistently and efficiently following standard operating procedures and safety regulations and notifying supervisor of any quality assurance issues and malfunctioning equipment. Starts at $22.50 per hour. High school diploma. 

Maintenance Technician: Responsible for maintaining equipment in safe, reliable and productive condition. Fabricates or modifies equipment, performs preventative maintenance, analyzes equipment issues, and understands and interprets technical documents. Night-shift pay starting at $32.95 per hour with $7,500 sign-on bonus. High school diploma with two years of experience, some college or technical training preferred.


Fairbanks Morse Defense | Beloit:  Fairbanks Morse makes mission-critical equipment for the military and commercial marine customers, including power systems and parts, along with aftermarket service.

Jobs at Fairbanks Morse Defense

Distribution and Logistics Analyst: Manage day-to-day operations related to inventory management, logistics, fulfillment and invoice audit/reconciliations. Coordinate with demand and supply teams to maintain inventory levels and prevent out-of-stocks. Support negotiation and manage relationships with logistics providers and freight forwarders. Measure and improve performance of logistics network. Bachelor’s in supply chain, logistics or business, and three to five years of experience.

3D Drafter – Animator:  Will create and tune 3D models based on technical line drawings and AutoCAD and Solidworks files, prepare models for presentation in augmented reality, and accurately simulate the function of engine systems in animations. Candidates should be highly detail oriented, organized, and flexible, with ability to deliver information clearly and concisely. Bachelor’s degree in engineering, games design or technology, and a portfolio of animations.

HVAC Products

Trane Technologies | La Crosse:  Trane Technologies makes heating, ventilation and air conditioning products under the Trane and Thermo King brands, including air conditioners, furnaces, humidifiers, thermostats and controls and much more. 

Jobs at Trane Technologies

Automation Engineer Co-Op:  Provides current college students in automation, electrical or general engineering with challenging assignments, leadership training, exposure to senior leaders and opportunities to network. Must be available full-time for six to eight consecutive months with some working knowledge of automation technology and drafting software. Minimum GPA of 3.0.

HVAC Laboratory Technician:  Entry-level position includes testing in new product development and sustainability and quality improvement projects. Strong grasp of refrigeration-related thermodynamic principles and mechanical troubleshooting is preferred. Job requires problem solving, troubleshooting and collaboration with other lab and engineering team members to ensure timely completion of projects. Associate degree in HVAC.

Cabinet doors and components

WalzCraft | La Crosse:  WalzCraft is a maker of cabinet doors, drawers and other components in a variety of styles, techniques and materials. The company has more than 340,000 square feet of manufacturing space and around 270 employees. 

Jobs at WalzCraft

Entry-Level Manufacturing: Follows standard work methods and practices, checks product quality, works in fast-paced environment, attaches labels and tags to products, maintains clean and safe work area. Job requires attention to detail, teamwork, time management and willingness to learn. Previous wood-working experience is helpful, but not necessary.

Customer Support Specialist:  Interacts directly with customers via phone and email. Needs to develop knowledge of all company products and specifications, handles customer questions about work-in-process, shipping, product changes and new product introductions. Job requires attention to detail; organizational, time management and problem-solving skills; and familiarity with data entry and computer systems.

Beef jerky

Jack Link’s | Minong, New Glarus:  A family-owned company started in 1986, Jack Link’s makes a variety of snacks, including jerky, sticks and sausages from beef, pork and turkey in flavors including teriyaki, peppered, sweet, mild and spicy. 

Jobs at Jack Link’s

Smokehouse Operator: Operates and monitors smokehouse to ensure product is cooked safely and efficiently. Needs understanding of how product thickness changes cooking procedures, monitors oven cycles, test products for PH, fat and moisture levels, completes documentation, and sprays products with applications per specifications. High school diploma or GED required; one to two years of experience preferred. 

Food Safety and Quality Auditor: Completes documentation and makes sure product specifications, customer quality expectations and USDA regulations are met and achieved. Job includes monitoring room and product temperatures along with product quality and consistency. High school diploma or GED required, bachelor’s in science or technical/business area or an associate degree in science or laboratory area preferred. One to two years of manufacturing or food experience required.

Bathroom, Kitchen, Lighting and Power Products

Kohler | Sheboygan County:  Kohler Co. has a number of business lines, including bathtubs, toilets, sinks, faucets, light fixtures, generators and engines. The company has locations across Sheboygan County and all over the world. It also has a hospitality business.

Jobs at Kohler

Electrician:  Performs installations and repairs on electrical systems in assigned department, builds and installs control panels, performs repairs and maintenance on switchgear up to 13,200 volts, stand-by generators, machinery, card access, security and fire alarm systems, and CNC and robotic equipment. Starting salary $86,831 with $3,000 sign-on bonus.

Welder:  Performs setup and all position on a diversified line of weldments and structures. Needs proficiency with a variety of welding equipment and ability to work from drawings, job layouts and sketches. Items welded include frames, bases, hoppers, covers, hoods, pipes, production service equipment and machinery. Starting salary is $58,570 with $3,000 sign-on bonus.


Krier Foods/Jolly Good | Random Lake:  Krier Foods provides blending, mixing, canning and fulfillment services for the beverage industry, including for alcoholic and non-alcoholic sodas, sparkling waters, energy drinks and coffee and tea drinks. The company also owns and makes the Jolly Good soda brand.

Jobs at Krier Foods/Jolly Good

Blender: Responsible for supporting production lines by efficiently mixing finished products and maintaining the highest possible food safety, customer taste and appearance quality standards while performing all blend room operations. Required to taste some products, prepare samples and calibrate scales among other tasks. Associate degree in science or chemistry preferred plus one to two years of previous manufacturing experience. $1,500 sign-on bonus and a $2.50 second-shift premium.

Machine Operator: Responsible for operating equipment based on production schedule needs. Rotation training program includes opportunity to learn all equipment including de-palletizer, filler, packager and more. Makes sure proper product is produced in correct amount with the right graphics, wrap and coding. Also monitors for equipment jams. Forklift experience a plus. High school diploma and six months of previous manufacturing experience preferred. $1,500 sign-on bonus and a $2.50 second-shift premium.

Outboard Motors

Mercury Marine | Fond du Lac, Oshkosh:  Fond du Lac-based Mercury Marine makes a number of marine products, including outboard motors. Its motors run from 2.5 to 600 horsepower. Its Fond du Lac campus is more than 2.5 million square feet. 

Jobs at Mercury Marine

Metal Melter & Hauler:  Responsible for operation of metal processing equipment, including melting furnaces, chip dryer, crusher and elevator. Loads equipment with ingot, scrap or other material. Monitor equipment to ensure proper state of material, transport material from melting to holding furnaces, and participate in cleaning and maintenance of furnaces. Starting wage is $23.45 per hour.

Hydraulic Technician:  Supports new and current product development of marine hydraulic components and systems. Conducts and monitors validation tests, performs detailed component inspections, writes test reports, and fabricates test fixtures and parts. Two-plus years of experience as technician in marine, automotive or relevant industry. Basic machining, welding and fabrication skills and boating experience preferred.

Towers and heavy fabrications

Broadwind Heavy Fabrications | Manitowoc:  Broadwind makes heavy fabrications, wind towers, crane components, frames, structures and gearboxes. The company won the “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin” contest in 2021 for a 140-ton Navy crane, a 2.7 million-pound crane sent to New Hampshire on Memorial Day weekend by barge.

Jobs at Broadwind Heavy Fabrications

Machinist:  Will operate a Boring bar machine to meet print/drawing specifications. Responsibilities include operating machines, calculating dimensions and tolerances using micrometers and calipers, and operating overhead crane, scissor lift and forklift equipment. Two-year degree in machining or equivalent experience required. Pay $25 to $33.42 per hour.

Welder/Fabricator:  Company hiring for welders with five-plus years of experience with ability to pass welding tests on 1-inch material. Experience consistently running at least 18-inch beads and doing multi-pass welding preferred, along with experience welding on large scale projects in flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead preferred. Up to $29 per hour.