Wisconsin-based company surges to aid of Sandy victims
Jesse Ritka reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
WHITEWATER- While the East Coast is getting hammered by post-tropical storm Sandy, Wisconsin-based Generac is getting flooded with calls and orders for back-up generators to help soften the blow left behind by Sandy.
Power outages could be in the millions by the time the superstorm is gone, which would create a demand much larger than the supply. "There's a huge need and unfortunately there's just not enough of them around," Generac President and CEO, Aaron Jagdfeld, tells TODAY'S TMJ4's Jesse Ritka.
And with so many expected to be powerless, Generac is working overtime to keep up with the high demand. "We're going to be on the next seven days here, full shifts, three shifts a day, really as fast as we can produce these products and ship them out to the east coast," Jagdfeld explains.
They are hiring nearly 100 new part-time and full-time employees to keep up with the quick pace needed to produce and ship the generators in time. "We're here to help, that's what we do, that's what our products are for, certainly it is going to help the local economy here as we're able to ramp up our facilities," Jagdfeld says.
The need for generators is so great that Generac's newly acquired plant in Jefferson is actually going online much faster than anticipated because of Hurricane Sandy.
Aaron Jagdfeld says they bought their old plant in September but didn't plan on the space being used so quickly, "Frankly we're going to be producing product there a whole lot faster than we originally intended, it was going to be used as more of a warehouse, but we're going to have to hire people."
Hiring that's almost required because Mother Nature continues to create the need, Sandy is the fourth crippling storm to hit the East Coast in the last 14 months alone. "Unfortunately, we've had a lot of practice getting ready for this," admits Jagdfeld.
"We're trying to take as many calls, be patient with us, we really appreciate people waiting in queue on phone lines with us, we're going to get to ya," Jagdfeld says they've been inundated with questions from the East Coast concerning generators