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Ariens invests in child care to retain employees

Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 2:38 PM CDT
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BRILLION, Wis. (WBAY) - A major employer in Calumet County is focusing on child care as a way to retain employees in the future.

By breaking ground today on the Brillion Early Learning Center, Ariens Company is making a major investment in its employees and their families.

“It’s all about retaining our current employees, we’ve got about 1,400 employees here in Brillion and we’re trying to separate ourselves from other employers in the area and we feel that having an early learning center here is a great opportunity for our employees,” says Steve Servais, Ariens Company Vice President of Human Resources.

Set to open next fall, the child care center will have capacity for 96 children, as well as 25 spots for before and after school care.

Ariens employees will receive a 30-percent discount, an investment the snowblower and lawn mower manufacturer is happy to make.

“As a benefit to employees, it’s going to range in the $300,000 to $500,000 a year additional cost as a subsidy to the employee, but again we think it’s an important cost, we thing it’s an important benefit,” says Dan Ariens, Ariens Company Chairman & CEO.

Partnering with Ariens to run the facility is KinderCare, the nation’s largest child care provider.

“There are a lot of organizations across the country that have the capability of doing what they are doing but choose not to, so it is a choice that they are choosing to do such a great thing here with the child care center,” says Jeff Gerkin, KinderCare at Work Senior Vice President.

“In a larger community you have options, here there were not many options for our employees and we draw employees from about 30 miles away, so the other thing we’ve done is align the hours of the day care with the hours of our plant shifts, so we really aligned our initiatives, I do think this is a model that can work in a lot of communities,” adds Ariens.

The early learning center is being built on the former Brillion Iron Works foundry property.

It’s the first project in the community’s efforts to redevelop that land.

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