Tag Archives: Bucyrus

South Milwaukee Business: Eaton Acquires Cooper Industries

The world of big-time mergers and acquisitions continues to impact South Milwaukee companies.

Last year, it was Bucyrus International. Now, it’s Cooper Power Systems, another of the city’s largest employers. It’s being acquired by Eaton Corp.

Check out The Business Journal story here.

Hopefully the acquisition will lay the foundation for future growth in South Milwaukee, just as it appears Caterpillar’s purchase of Bucyrus has. But only time will tell, I guess.

What do you think of the deal? Post your comments below!

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Local Headlines: Caterpillar Sells More Of The Bucyrus Distribution Business And More

Check out these headlines from around the South Shore:

And click here to see Oak Creek Patch photos from Saturday’s performance by the University of Wisconsin marching band at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center.

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Sullivan Turns Focus To Worker Training

Former Bucyrus CEO Tim Sullivan has long championed worker training as a key issue for growing Wisconsin’s economy.

Now, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he is “drafting set of recommendations that will change how Wisconsin allocates hundreds of millions of dollars each year in federal job training funds and simultaneously reform the state’s education system.”

“It’s a big task with a lot of moving parts,” he told the newspaper.

Is it ever.

One key part of Sullivan’s work is taking a fresh look at high school curriculum, better matching student skills with companies’ needs — something that I know the South Milwaukee School District is already focused on as part of its long-range planning process. From the newspaper:

He cited a study by Georgetown University that found that Wisconsin will need an estimated 925,000 skilled workers by 2018 just to replace those on the verge of retiring or meet the creation of new jobs. At least 588,000 of those jobs will require a minimum of a two-year technical training degree.

But the state’s schools don’t produce those numbers – which is all the more troublesome in a state that leads the nation in per-capita manufacturing employment, Sullivan said. Starting in the 1980s, many high schools discontinued shop classes, industrial arts, and trade and technical schools. Educators, parents and students focused on curriculum that prepared students for four-year college degrees, even though a degree in the humanities will not land anyone a job on a production line, he said.

That will require a new approach to the way high schools structure their curriculum. It also means a renewed educational push in grade school to supply high schools with students that have basic math and reading skills.


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Caterpillar Integration: Eight Months Later, Leaders Look Back

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a story in Sunday’s business section about the impacts of Caterpillar’s acquisition of Bucyrus International last year.

It paints an overwhelmingly positive picture.

Check it out here. From it:

Caterpillar has added about 200 jobs in South Milwaukee since it acquired Bucyrus and now has 1,600 employees. The company is spending $6 billion on capital expenditures, much of it in the mining equipment division.

“We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in our U.S. manufacturing plants. We are confident that, for a lot of our products, it makes sense to have a large North American presence,” Wunning said.

Last July, it seemed as if 131 years of Bucyrus history was wiped clean when Caterpillar took over, dropped the Bucyrus name and rebranded everything in its own name.

The change seemed sudden, but Caterpillar spent months preparing for it.

The Peoria, Ill., company wanted one face for the mining division, not two, Wunning said of dropping the Bucyrus name.

“We can grow our businesses faster together than we could individually,” he said.

I’d like to know what you think. Post your comments below, and vote in the poll!

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New State Post For Sullivan

Gov. Scott Walker’s newest adviser is former Bucyrus CEO Tim Sullivan.

Sullivan will head Walker’s office of business development, it was announced Thursday.

Check out coverage in the Journal Sentinel and the Business Journal, and here is the press release.

From the release:

Job creators from all across Wisconsin have identified a skills gap between the jobs they have available and the workers applying to fill them. Manufacturers, in particular, identify this skills gap as one of the top barriers to business growth. Similarly, our technical colleges report difficulty in filling many of their manufacturing training courses with qualified students. That’s why Governor Walker has worked closely with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Workforce Development on ongoing strategies for tackling the problem.

To help develop and drive these strategies across a variety of agencies and institutions, the Administration is utilizing the expertise of a consultant who brings a track record of private sector success and vast experience and understanding of the workforce development issues job creators look at when deciding where to grow.

As Special Consultant for Business and Workforce Development, Sullivan will be help identify barriers to business development and job growth in Wisconsin. He will focus especially on workforce, employment environment, and policy issues. He will also help identify and cultivate business prospects for expansion and relocation to Wisconsin.

Sullivan will also head up the Office of Business Development, serve as Chairman of the Council on Workforce Investment and as member of the College and Workforce Readiness Council. Sullivan is serving the state as a volunteer.

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Sullivan: No On Gubernatorial Bid, U.S. Senate Bid “Unlikely”

I just came across a recent Business Journal story on Tim Sullivan’s political future.

The former Bucyrus CEO told the newspaper that a run against Gov. Scott Walker in a gubernatorial recall election is not in the cards, and he said a bid for the U.S. Senate in 2012 is still uncertain at best.

Check out the story here, keeping in mind that in the print edition of this story, Sullivan labeled his chances at running to replace Sen. Herb Kohl “unlikely.”

What do think of Sullivan as a candidate? Post your comments below!

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Sullivan To Lead Mining Committee

Former Bucyrus CEO Tim Sullivan has kept a relatively low profile in the past couple of months, following the closing of the Caterpillar deal.

He did speak briefly at an event on Sept. 24 unveiling the Bucyrus plaque being erected at Heritage Park on 10th and Milwaukee Avenues.

Now, Sullivan has been named chairman of a group studying the mine regulatory process and pushing for legislation to streamline the approval process.

Here is the story. From it:

Sullivan said the association would not lobby for legislative changes, not serve as a conduit to funnel political donations and wouldn’t fund advertising touting the benefits of mining to the Wisconsin economy.

The association also would not accept funding or be represented on the board by Gogebic, Sullivan said.

“We want to be completely independent of any potential investors (in the mine),” Sullivan said.

The association expects to provide data and information that shows how iron ore mining can be done without harming the environment, Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the association isn’t being formed solely because of Gogebic, noting that Aquila Resources, a German company, began exploring for gold in Marathon County in June.

“It’s pretty clear that commodity prices are driving all of this interest right now,” Sullivan said.

As I’ve posted before, this pending legislation has me concerned, especially if it means a significant reduction in environmental reviews done before a mine is built, as previous legislation floated did.

I hope lawmakers find the right balance on this issue. I fear they won’t.

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Caterpillar Inching Toward a New Home?

Update: Well, that was fun while it lasted.

The Business Journal of Milwaukee — and good friend Rich Rovito — has an interesting blog item about the CEO of Caterpillar complaining about the business climate of Illinois.

From the posting:

Various media outlets, including the Pantagraph in Bloomington, Ill., stated that Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman sent a letter to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn informing him that at least four other states have approached the company about relocating.

“I want to stay here. But as the leader of this business, I have to do what’s right for Caterpillar when making decisions about where to invest,” Oberhelman wrote in the letter reportedly obtained by the Lee Enterprises’ Springfield, Ill., bureau.

Wisconsin has not been officially listed as one of the states courting Caterpillar. But it makes sense if it was. And it would make doubly good sense with the company’s acquisition of Oak Creek/South Milwaukee-based Bucyrus International.

Could this be a win for the South Shore? Too early to say.

But it’s nice to dream …

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Caterpillar Strength, Child Care Fraud, Heroic Student and More

Check out the following headlines from around the South Shore:

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    Shareholders Approve Bucyrus Deal and Other Local Headlines of Interest

    Bucyrus shareholders have approved a buyout by Caterpillar.

    Read the story from Bloomberg here. From it:

    Bucyrus says about 73.8 percent of the total outstanding shares voted Thursday in favor of the deal. The acquisition still requires approval by regulators. Bucyrus says it expects the deal to close later this year.

    Here is the Journal Sentinel story.

    And check out these other local headlines of interest:

    Also, in case you missed it, Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik published her January Enews update recently. See it here.

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    Local Mining Jobs in Question … Again

    The U.S. Export-Import Bank is back in the news again, and that has not meant good news for South Milwaukee-based Bucyrus recently.

    At issue is the bank’s potential funding of a mining project in South Africa — and the potential impact that that decision could have on jobs at either Bucyrus or Milwaukee-based Joy Global (which would likely make the shovel needed for the project). Read more in this Journal Sentinel story. From it:

    If the plant gets financed, either Bucyrus or Joy Global would likely win a contract to build a coal mining dragline – a huge machine that Bucyrus says would take 30 months to manufacture at a cost of roughly $120 million.

    It is work that could be started this year, said Bucyrus CEO Tim Sullivan.

    “We know the mine would need a dragline,” he said. “If the Export-Import Bank processes this decision the way we hope they will, it means jobs in Milwaukee one way or the other.”

    Sound familiar?

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    Oak Creek Power Plant Update and Other Headlines of Interest

    So, the Oak Creek power plant is finally complete.

    Read the full Journal Sentinel story here. From it:

    The biggest unknown: the project’s final cost. We Energies will file reports detailing the final cost this year when it seeks to adjust rates for 2012 and 2013, Kuester said.

    Regulators approved a $2.15 billion price tag for the project, and set a cap allowing overruns of up to 5% to be passed along to utility customers.

    “We hope customers won’t have to pay for any cost overruns associated with the construction of the power plants,” Charlie Higley, executive director of the coustomer group Wisconsin Citizens’ Utility Board. “We’re also hopeful that the plants continue to run well, and that We Energies doesn’t charge customers for any costs associated with uneven performance” of the first coal plant last year.

    And check out these other local headlines of note:

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    Mourning the Loss of a Man Committed to Community … and History

    In case you haven’t heard, Dave Lang, the founder of the Bucyrus History Museum, died this week of brain cancer. He was 65.

    I only met Dave a couple times when we were starting up the South Milwaukee Downtown Market, and it was easy to see how much he loved and supported our community.

    He was also dedicated to preserving its history as Bucyrus curator and founder of its cool museum, a true hidden gem in South Milwaukee.

    And I think it was only fitting that on Saturday, the day after he was buried, Bucyrus opened its doors for the Christmas Market and attracted hundreds of people to the museum that Lang helped build.

    Read an obituary here, and post memories of Dave below. Rest in peace, Dave, and your family is in my prayers.

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    Good News for South Milwaukee on Bucyrus Deal

    Little if any local job loss, at least for now. A continued strong commitment to local manufacturing. The establishment of Oak Creek as a “nerve center” for a global mining business.

    Heck, South Milwaukee can even say we’re still home to “Bucyrus.”

    In other words, the potential fallout from Monday’s announcement regarding the sale of Bucyrus International to Caterpillar isn’t as damaging as it could be.

    The Business Journal of Milwaukee has some new details gathered at an afternoon press conference at the South Milwaukee company.

    See the full story here. From it:

    Caterpillar Inc.’s acquisition of Bucyrus International Inc. isn’t likely to lead to immediate job cuts in the Milwaukee area.

    In fact, Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar has vowed to create a global mining headquarters in Oak Creek at the site of the former Midwest Airlines corporate offices on South Howell Avenue.

    Bucyrus currently has about 1,600 employees in the Milwaukee area, including about 880 hourly production workers, Sullivan said. The sale to Caterpillar doesn’t alter Bucyrus’ plans to add as many as 515 jobs, evenly split between administrative and production personnel, in the Milwaukee area in the immediate future, said Sullivan, who will leave the company after the deal closes.

    “The great situation that we’re in today is that we’re in a booming market,” he said. “When two companies like this get together, you’re usually talking about cost synergies. We’re talking about expanding. My hope is that this is just the start and that we can continue to grow employment in the Milwaukee area.”

    Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman also said he sees growth for Caterpillar’s mining operations, but added that it’s unlikely any Caterpillar manufacturing jobs would be shifted to South Milwaukee.  And he wouldn’t completely rule out job losses: “I can’t say with certainty about anything with the state of the economy today, but we are very optimistic with where we see growth and what we see happening in the mining industry.”

    Here is a story with additional local reaction from the Daily Reporter.

    I’ll keep you posted on this story as it develops. And feel free to post your comments below. I’m interested to know what you think about this.

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    Caterpillar CEO: “Caterpillar is Coming to Milwaukee. Bucyrus is Not Leaving”

    In an interview with CNBC this morning, Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman — thanks in large part to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan — shed some light on to what his company’s acquistion of Bucyrus might mean for local operations.

    Check out the full interview here. Among the CEO’s comments:

    Catperilliar is coming to Milwaukee and Wisconsin. Bucyrus is not leaving. We will be moving a fairly select number of senior level, executive-type jobs to Milwaukee over the next couple of years. We intend to keep the headquarters for our global mining business right there in Milwaukee. We like the facliites, we like the people and we think it will serve us very, very well as we go forward in this business in a  lot bigger way.

    He said the future is “very bright” locally. However, when asked if employment would increase locally, Oberhelman said: “I don’t see it decreasing much. It’s hard to say. It’s early.”

    Of course, everyone keeps saying “Milwaukee” here. I am assuming they mean “South Milwaukee” and “Oak Creek.” If I suspect otherwise, I will let you know.

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