Winona facility expanding to fight microchip shortage

WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) — A Winona manufacturer is expanding its workforce to meet an increasing demand for microchips around the globe.

The Watlow facility in Winona designs and manufactures thermal products that are used to produce integrated circuits, processors and memory chips. Its temperature and process controllers are in high demand due to the worldwide shortage of microprocessors used in cell phones, cars and other technology.

“As the global microchip and semiconductor shortages became severe, we accelerated our hiring plans to produce more of our high-value controllers,” said Jeff Harrington, director of operations at Watlow’s Winona facility. “The current high level of demand for our products is projected to continue for many years, ensuring long-term employment at our Winona facility. We are looking to hire and train at least 20 new team members in advanced manufacturing techniques that align with our Industry 4.0 strategies.”

Technicians start at $17 per hour. Second- and weekend-shift team members get an additional $1.50 per hour.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many of the largest users of microprocessors, such as vehicle manufacturers, to cancel or delay orders. As a result, chip producers reallocated their production to other markets such as consumer electronics. Vehicle demand has returned faster than anticipated, resulting in worldwide shortages as chip manufacturers continue to struggle to meet pent-up demand.

To apply, visit Watlow’s Winona facility at 1241 Bundy Boulevard or go to www.watlow.com/careeropportunities.

Recent News Headlines from News 8 Now