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Work Resumes at ESCO’s Webster Manufacturing Facility

Monday, April 23, 2012
PIERRE, S.D. – ESCO, a Watertown-based wholesale signmanufacturer, recently restarted production at its Webster facility after a two-year shutdown. Work resumed with 10-15 employees, and the company plans on hiring another 4-5 people immediately.

“This is great news for northeastern South Dakota and another indication that our state is on the path to economic recovery,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “It is companies like ESCO and communities like Webster that are helping blaze the recovery trail in South Dakota.”

ESCO Administration Manager Laurie Gates said that when the Webster facility closed, some of those employees were retained and commuted to Watertown. Now, some have been able to return to Webster and are working on a new product line.

“Before the shutdown, we were making church and school signs,” Gates said. “Now, the Webster plant is primarily focused on channel letter signs. This change allows ESCO to maintain a more even workflow in Webster.”

Channel letters are three dimensional, custom-made metal or plastic letters that are commonly used on buildings of businesses or other organizations for exterior signage.

To help the company retrain workers, the State of South Dakota awarded ESCO a $4,121 grant from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s Workforce Development program. The grant money will be used to retrain up to 12 employees.

“Expanding our workforce in Day County is not only great for the community, but is beneficial to the entire region,” said Nick Fosheim, Executive Director of the Webster Area Development Corporation. “I look forward to watching this company grow and expand even more in the near and distant future.”

Individuals wishing to apply for employment at ESCO should contact Human Resources at 1-800-843-3726.

About ESCO: Established in 1965, ESCO is a second-generation, family-owned business located in the heart of the Midwest. The company has more than 76,000-square-feet of capacity in two separate manufacturing facilities. For more information, visit

About the Workforce Development Program: The South Dakota Workforce Development Program has been extending education and training resources since 2006 so South Dakota employers are provided with well-trained and skilled workforces. Using matching grants, the program funds industry-education partnerships through customized training programs in which short-term, job-specific training is delivered. For more information, please visit




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