Hurricane brings surge of work to generac _ gazettextra

WHITEWATER—As several southern states on the Atlantic coast begin to feel the aftermath of storm surges brought on late last week by Hurricane Matthew, a local electrical generator manufacturer is getting hit with a cyclone of work.

Generac Power Systems’ Whitewater manufacturing facility is entering a surge in production and shipment of two of its key consumer product lines—residential portable and backup electrical generators.

Generac expects to produce and ship out a glut of its generators in the coming weeks to coastal areas wracked by Matthew, where hundreds of thousands of utility customers swamped by storm surges in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia were still without electricity Monday.

Some areas hit could be without power for days as utility companies tackle the daunting task of reaching and replacing thousands of main power lines the storm took out across the region, public utility commissions in the states affected have said.

Tony Velotta, senior director of operations at Whitewater’s Generac plant, said the southern storm damage comes as Generac was already filling its distribution warehouses for the annual hurricane season, which typically runs through November, and for winter-storm season, which comes on the heels of hurricane season.

Workers Monday were assembling, testing and packing hundreds of new residential generators, many of which Generac eventually will ship to retailers along the Atlantic coast.

As Generac pushes the pedal down on production in Whitewater, it plans to hire 100 to 200 new production workers within weeks. R gas constant kj Velotta said that will help Generac meet what the company believes will be several months of increased demand for consumer market electric generators in areas hit by Hurricane Matthew.

The ramping up comes amid a race by Generac to reconfigure its Whitewater production lines with new automation and other features the company says will improve worker comfort and production efficiency. Electricity clipart A hiring surge at the Whitewater plant had been planned even before Matthew’s ragged brush along the Atlantic coast.

The company plans to hold a recruitment event Thursday, Oct. Ortega y gasset la rebelion de las masas 20, at the Whitewater plant, and it will offer several weeks of “Wednesday walk-ins” for job applicants. Gasbuddy map It’s a hiring surge that could boost the overall employee head count at Generac’s Whitewater operations to near 750. Electricity facts label Some of the new hires would be for permanent, full-time positions, Velotta said.

The hurricane only accelerated those hiring plans, but plant workers at Whitewater have known for days that the hurricane’s path would likely bring a storm of work to the plant.

“We started really watching Matthew closely more than a week ago. Gas vs electric heat I put up daily updates on the hurricane next to all our TV monitors, and we’ve been having weekly meetings to keep everyone up to speed,” Velotta said.

Early last week, a few members of Generac’s Whitewater testing and research staff joined the company’s national storm response team to get out front of the storm. 76 gas credit card login Generac’s field team hit the southern coastal states to service and repair portable and backup generators that some owners might not have run in months following last year’s quiet hurricane season.

In Whitewater, workers now are toggling between Generator’s 300,000-square-foot production plant and the 200,000-square-foot distribution facility next door. Velotta said the plant is running 16 hours a day, seven days a week and within a few weeks will shift to 24/7 operations.

Over the weekend, about 160 semitrailer truckloads of generators left Generac’s gates in Whitewater—most of them bound for big-box retailers in areas hit hard by Hurricane Matthew, Brynn Kanikula, a marketing specialist for Generac, said.

On the plant floor Monday, Generac assembly worker Samantha Burns compared the atmosphere at Generac over the last several days to Major League Baseball’s shift from the regular season into the playoffs.

Burns worked on a 100-yard assembly line, bolting exhaust components to large, chest-freezer-sized, natural gas- and propane-powered backup generators—the kind small companies or residents would have a dealer permanently wire into their homes.

Burns pushed partially assembled engines and alternators—the generators’ working components—down a rolling conveyor. Kite electricity generation At the other end of the line, finished generators headed through testing and rolled out to a station where workers boxed them up.

Hurricane Matthew represents the first major hurricane for Burns since she started working at Generac. Electricity in water experiment She said the surge in work at Whitewater has come with overtime, and it’s been a notch up in intensity.

“It’s been a real experience working on a Generac storm team. Gas pain in chest It’s my first time for that, and it’s really brought a feeling of added responsibility because something important is going on in the country right now. Hp gas online payment A lot of people who work here feel that. Grade 6 electricity unit plan It’s been tiring and stressful, yes, but it’s very exciting,” Burns said.

Velotta said Generac expects its line of permanent backup generators will have increased demand for months as residents of storm-wracked areas return home and seek to arm themselves for future storms.