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InSinkErator Headquarters in Mount Pleasant Emerson Electric, the parent company of InSinkErator, unveiled the architectural drawings of two investments — a $34 million headquarters and lab in Mount Pleasant and $29 million in improvements to its facility in Racine.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who was at the unveiling at InSinkErator’s headquarters Thursday morning, highlighted how company’s like InSinkErator “are the backbone of our economy.” But changes are needed in the federal tax code to help more companies grow, he said.

InSinkErator makes food waste disposers for home and commercial use. The company employs 1,200 people in southeast Wisconsin and plans to move 170 people from its existing headquarters in Racine to the new site.

“Our new modern headquarters and state-of-the-art lab space will facilitate continued InSinErator innovation here in Wisconsin,” said Chad Severson, president of InSinkErator. With the expansion to Mount Pleasant, we can optimize the layout of the Racine facility for improved product flow and additional capacity.”

Emerson bought 11.5 acres of land at the southwest corner of Highway 20 and International Drive in Mount Pleasant in April for $2.7 million. Plans include building an 85,000 square-foot, two-story building for its 175 engineers and professional staff, who are at their current headquarters in Racine.

The expansion is necessary due to increased demand. Once the new building is constructed, the company plans to reconfigure their building at 4700 21st Street in Racine and add production capacity at that facility. The investment totals $29 million over the next two years.

InSinkErator qualified for a $4.65 million loan from Racine County and $600,000 in tax increment financing assistance from the Village of Mount Pleasant.

“Southeast Wisconsin continues to be an important area of operations for Emerson’s InSinkErator business, and by 2019 our company will have made nearly $150 million in capital investments in this area in support of InSinkErator over five years,” said Bob Sharp, executive president of Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions.

Ryan used InSinkErator as an example of how Wisconsin can continue to lift itself out of the recession. But more work needs to be done around tax and regulatory reforms, he said.

Seeing the need for a high-skilled workforce to keep good paying jobs, Ryan wants to prime the pump by bringing jobs overseas back to the U.S. To carry out the task, he wants to help level the playing field for American manufacturers by going after foreign companies violating international trade laws and reduce taxes on American companies making products overseas. That way companies have an incentive to bring that production back to the U.S., he said.

“If we tackle this, I have to believe that America can lead again if we can get people from welfare to working again by getting good paying jobs,” Ryan said. “That’s how we can get American manufacturing back on top.”

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.