Last week, Johnsonville Sausage hosted a groundbreaking ceremony at its new Watertown location, 1222 Perry Way. The event was well attended by local businesses, Watertown city government employees and representatives from state organizations. The 63,000-square-foot building, which was purchased in August and is the former home to Multi-Color Corp., will support Johnsonville's fresh sausage operations. The company notes that, with the new facility, 30 jobs will be created in the next year, with the potential for more.
In May of this year, Johnsonville experienced a loss in Watertown when its facility at 104 E. Division St. suffered a fire that caused extensive damage to the building and the equipment. Obviously, the fire caused a huge disruption for not only the company but its employees as well.
What Johnsonville did after that is really special. The company, anxious not to have any of its employees displaced while the building was being repaired and production was shut down, kept employees on the payroll while they completed training and education classes at Madison Area Technical College and while they did a host of volunteer projects in the community. Projects and work done by Johnsonville employees include working at the Bethesda Thrift Shop, landscaping and cleanup at the Octagon House, working with Rock River Rescue to lay wood chips throughout the trails near Heiden Pond, extensive work at the Watertown airport, working with schools in the Watertown Unified School District and English as a Second Language, business and computer classes at the Watertown campus of MATC. Mayor John David noted at the groundbreaking ceremony that this type of volunteering, effort and commitment sets Johnsonville Sausage apart.
Johnsonville CEO Nick Meriggioli, who joined the company in April of this year after the retirement of longtime CEO Ralph C. Stayer, noted at the groundbreaking it didn't take long for him to see that Johnsonville Sausage was a special company, one that does the right things for its community, customers and employees.
Steve Johnson, vice president of operations for Johnsonville Sausage, noted the company is proud of its relationship with Watertown and recognized the community for its support during the purchase and rezoning of the Perry Way building.
Johnsonville Sausage has been a great partner to Watertown for more than three decades. With the new location on Perry Way, we are excited to see this partnership continue and expand.
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