John Deere completes Horicon expansion

Nate Beck
Amerequip employees work on machinery for John Deere at the company's Kiel plant.

Horicon — John Deere's new manufacturing plant in Horicon is up and running.

The company held a ribbon-cutting event last week for the new $45 million facility that employs 80 people. Production at the new facility began last month.

John Deere announced a 388,000-square-foot expansion to the existing facility in October 2015 after local and state agencies secured incentives for the project. New operations at the Horicon Works facility replace warehousing and sub-manufacturing work done in Janesville. As the Horicon project began, John Deere ended its contract with a third-party employer, eliminating 100 jobs in Janesville.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. contributed $2 million in tax credits to the Horicon Works facility, while the City of Horicon created a tax incremental financing (TIF) district to provide tax support for the project. John Deere has operated in Horicon since 1911 and employed more than 1,000 in the town of 3,500 in Dodge County before this latest project.

The Horicon Works expansion allows that factory to begin producing the Gator utility vehicle, adding shipping and warehousing operations. The Gator accounted for about half the plant’s volume in 2013. John Deere began building Gators in Horicon after moving its operations there in 2009 from Canada.

"We have a good, talented workforce that has demonstrated ability," Jim Schaefer, director of economic development at the City of Horicon, told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin in 2015. "This will be a shot in the arm for our community."