Unimin Corp. announced that it has added 19 full-time positions to the workforce at its Tunnel City, Wis., plant in the second quarter of 2016. Mark Massicotte, the plant manager at the facility, stated that there are now 84 employees working at the site.
“Due to increased demand in the oil and gas markets and commitments from our valued customers, we have continued to add personnel to support the increase in unit train shipments since the beginning of April,” Massicotte said.
In late March, Unimin announced plans to idle the Tunnel City frac sand plant due to a significant downturn in the market for frac sand and the potential need for a reduction in workforce. Although the plant ceased shipments for one week in preparation to idle, orders quickly ramped back up and no employees were affected.
“We have seen a steady increase in production the last three months,” stated Massicotte. “In fact, we are closely monitoring demand and opportunities that could require additional staffing in the future.”
The current situation is good news to the community of Tunnel City, Wis., and the Monroe County town of Greenfield, Wis. If the current shipment trend continues, Massicotte expects that by year-end 2016, Unimin will bring the town approximately $200,000 in economic benefits.
“Unimin Corp. has served as very good neighbors and we welcome their continued growth and expansion,” said town chairman Joe Bargle.
Tunnel City is a state-of-the-art, Wisconsin Green Tier certified facility that was recently recognized by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce with a Wisconsin Business Friend of the Environment award for their stewardship, use of innovative technology and sustainable business practices. Unimin has been a contributor to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Responsible Mining Initiative and has been recognized by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards for recent donations.
“We thank our customers, employees and community stakeholders for their partnership to bring sustainably mined silica sand to the marketplace,” said Scott J. Preston, Unimin Corp.’s chief operating officer.