MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee leaders are hoping to bring thousands of manufacturing jobs back to the city’s north side.
Oshkosh Corporation has been awarded a $482 million contract to build the next generation of U.S. Postal Service vehicles.
Oshkosh Corporation’s president says they’re looking at various sites across the country for an assembly plant where the new trucks will be put together. Milwaukee leaders say look no further than Century City.
The U.S.P.S. is updating its fleet of delivery vehicles for the first time in 30 years. An Oshkosh company won the contract to build them, but where they will be assembled remains undecided.
“It’s important for us to make the pitch because we want to have these jobs,” said Mayor Tom Barrett.
Mayor Barrett is joining Common Council President Cavalier Johnson in recommending a site on Milwaukee’s north side.
“Century City just makes the most sense in the world, I think, to be the location for this,” Johnson said.
The city purchased the 80-acre land now known as Century City Business Park in 2009, but it has since struggled with a lack of development. Century City is currently home to two employers.
“This is an opportunity I think to really turn the page on the problems Century City has had,” Johnson said.
Oshkosh Defense is set to build between 50,000 and 165,000 USPS vehicles over the next ten years.
“This delivery vehicle is going to give today’s postal worker better productivity, better safety, great technology, zero emissions, battery electric vehicles in the fleet,” said Oshkosh Corporation President John Pfeifer.
Pfeifer said engineering, development and production will take place in Oshkosh, but they’re considering several locations elsewhere for the assembly plant.
“We’re responsible for delivering the vehicles to the point of use for the postal service, so efficiency of logistics is really important, workforce availability is really important,” he said.
Mayor Barrett said a city just an hour and a half drive south makes sense for a number of reasons.
“We can offer a plentiful workforce, we have a great transportation grid and we’ve got the proximity to Oshkosh,” Barrett said.
Oshkosh Corporation said they’re going to choose a location for vehicle assembly sometime this year. Pfeifer said production is set to begin in 2023.