Bostik Inc. plans to consolidate its U.S. headquarters, administrative and research-and-development functions in Wauwatosa, a move that would create 76 jobs by 2014.
A news conference has been scheduled for Friday to discuss details of the firm’s $10 million expansion. Bostik Inc. employs 164 people in Wauwatosa at 11320 W. Watertown Plank Road.
The Wauwatosa unit is already the U.S. headquarters for Bostik Inc., a French manufacturer of adhesives and sealants that employs 4,600 people worldwide and had sales of $1.8 billion in 2010. The company’s products are used in a variety of applications ranging from gasoline tankers and buildings to furniture and diapers.
Bostik Inc. is part of the specialty chemicals business of French oil and gas producer Total SA.
“The company will seek to move scientists from R&D centers in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts,” said Bob Marquette, Bostik Inc. president and chief executive.
The expansion aims to “improve our effectiveness by bringing these resources together under one roof,” said Marquette.
In addition, Wauwatosa was selected over Paris and Shanghai to be the company’s research center of excellence for its hot-melt pressure-sensitive thermal plastic adhesives. The adhesives can be found on everything from bottle labels to vehicle carpet and seats.
The local office was chosen because it is already doing research into hot-melt adhesives and because of a strong talent pool, including the chemical engineering program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Marquette said.
“It’s been a good pipeline for us,” he said of the UW program.
Bostik Inc. received an offer of $1.5 million in Wisconsin Jobs tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the public-private organization that succeeded the state Department of Commerce.
The incentives helped the company make a final decision to locate here after considering the possibility of consolidating operations in Massachusetts, Marquette said.
“This is a very nice project for southeastern Wisconsin,” said Jim Paetsch, vice president of the Milwaukee 7 economic development organization. “We’re always interested in those next-generation manufacturing jobs, which is exactly what these are: 76 jobs. You’re talking about chemists, PhD chemists. These are high-skill, high-wage jobs – the kinds of jobs that we absolutely have to compete for.”
The transfer of jobs to Wisconsin will take place in phases, including about 15 R&D jobs next year and the full 76 jobs in place a year later. The company could add 14 additional jobs at the Wauwatosa site if the company’s growth plan remains on track over the next four or five years, Marquette said.
The company may hire for some of the jobs, but is hoping to convince as many employees as it can to transfer here from facilities in suburban Philadelphia and suburban Boston. “We’ve made a significant number of relocation offers,” said human resources director Chuck Whaley.
Locally, Bostik Inc. traces its roots to its founding 100 years ago in Milwaukee, when Frank Findley purchased the Wisconsin Paste Co., a manufacturer of wallpaper and billboard paste. In 1917, the company became known as F.G. Findley Co. and later Findley Adhesives Inc.
The firm was privately held until 1996, then renamed Ato Findley after it was purchased by a French petroleum company. Ato Findley and Bostik Inc. merged in 2000, and the company has been known as Bostik Inc. since 2004.
Article Credit: Content, T. (2011, 10 13). Bostik Inc. plans $10 million expansion in Wauwatosa. Retrieved from http://www.jsonline.com/business/bostik-plans-10-million-expansion-in-wauwatosa-131809168.html