A laser burns right through metal in one step of the fabrication process.
A laser burns right through metal in one step of the fabrication process.

   Robots. Lasers.

   A generation ago, those might have sounded like a science fiction.

   But as Alliance Laundry Systems continues to address a difficult labor market, machines that can provide such automation are becoming an important step toward keeping up with increasing demand.

   Currently, the company employs 1,370 people. It ought to have 1,420 on staff, though, according to plant manager Dave Hickman.

   That includes a 25-percent growth to Alliance’s manufacturing and corporate employee base in Ripon in the last five years.

   “The recruiting of new team members is really tough because it’s a competitive job market right now,” said Brad Nye, Alliance’s new vice president of North America Manufacturing. “So we’re struggling to get enough people in the door. At any given time, we’re about 100 short.”

   The comments were made as part of a tour held last week Thursday evening for local leaders from the city and schools.

Read the full story in the Dec. 20, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.