We had a blast
WAYLAND — More jobs are headed to Wayland.
Curt Wagler, CEO of Wagler Manufacturing, Wayland, is building on to his manufacturing plant in the Wayland Industrial Park.
“We’re starting this week,” he said this morning. The original building, which opened on July 4, 2008, has seen two additions in the past four years and will see another 12,000 square feet of working space come January.
Wagler beamed as he talked about his company. Business is good, so good that the work force was busy on a Friday. “We usually don’t work on Friday, but they are on overtime today,” he explained.
The company has five divisions — Wagler Awards, Wagler Home Interiors, Wagler Outdoors, Wagler Promotional, Wagler Metal and American Anatomical.
Wagler’s latter division (American Anatomical) is the one showing continued growth and forcing expansion. The anatomical division manufactures CPR mannequins and task trainers for the medical profession worldwide. “We make human anatomy equipment and ship it to doctors in the United States, Canada and Japan,” Wagler remarked.
“We are moving them into their own separate quarters because we are increasing the product line and machine capabilities,” he noted. That means more employees, too. “We hope to add 12-20 employees within two years. I want to increase the product line and machine capabilities to offer a more diverse line.”
Wagler currently employs about 20 workers.
The company will have around 20,000 square feet when the new addition is finished and further expansion is definitely a possibility, he said. “We own nearly the entire east side of the industrial park so we have plenty of room to grow.” He said the new division will be erected “on all sides” of the existing facility.
Wagler more or less grew up in the woodworking business, the third generation of Waglers to be involved in manufacturing. “I started with my grandfather and my father (Delmar) and have been doing this ever since high school,” he reflected. And there could be a fourth generation on the horizon. “My kids are all learning this too.”
His father made home interior furnishings — “everything a furniture store didn’t offer” — he noted. “But he only sold it retail and when I started I also began wholesaling it and also doing OEM (original equipment of manufacturers) products.”
Wagler’s products are sold by a nationwide sales force. He said that about 5-7 percent of his sales are to foreign markets with Japan, Canada and Mexico the largest foreign markets.
Despite the recession over the past few years, Wagler has managed to survive and even grow. “it has been my goal to grow through the down economy, and as business shifts from foreign to U.S. markets, we will be ready to take on more work. Hopefully, sales will flourish. You just have to push your products harder in bad times.”
He is married to the former Lori Brown of New London.
As Wagler casts a glance over his production employees, he smiles. “Business has been steadily increasing every year,” he says. That news would put a smile on the face of any CEO.