WEG Commercial Motors Gains September Recognition
The Wells County Chamber of Commerce staff and Ambassadors surprised WEG Commercial Motors located at 410 E. Spring Street in Bluffton as the September Member of the Month. WEG Commercial Motors acquired Bluffton Motor Works in 2016 and now employs 455 individuals.
WEG Commercial Motors is a global company based in Brazil and is one of the largest manufacturers of electro-electronic equipment in the world. WEG has 42 manufacturing sites in 12 countries with a total of over 31,000 employees worldwide.
Silvio Billo, Managing Director, explained that if an item works with a motor, WEG has manufactured that item. Billo gave examples such as a dentist chair that goes up and down has a motor, electric wheelchairs, washing machines and dryers, treadmills, elevators, refrigeration pumps, compressors for air, and the list goes on. “The vast and diversified majority of products that need motors are developed by WEG.”
Custom-made motors are also manufactured here in Bluffton for a specialized application and specific need for an industry. “A gas motor that needs to be explosion-proof or a motor that is used in food processing must be able to withstand the extensive cleaning process of water and chemicals to eliminate bacteria and withstand rust and dirt,” said Billo. “Every product needs to be special and comply with regulations and our factory is set up for those special products for critical applications and that makes us very unique.”
As technology advances and WEG’s product needs increase, Billo explained that they are planning to grow 10% every year and are investing $5 million worth of equipment. “With new technology we need to achieve and comply with market needs and invest in the people. Our equipment is old and needs to be replaced which opens doors for new growth and opportunities of workers.”
Due to that growth, WEG’s hiring will be a special process because of the need with skills in manufacturing, design, quality, technology, assembly, injection, and sales. “We have created a unique training program for those that do not have the skills. We are bringing people from Brazil to train employees in the different specialties. We established a new training program last year with every new employee and matching them with a mentor or coach, who has vast experience in the area,” said Billo.
“People who we hire may not have the skills; however, they need to have the desire to grow together here. We are a family environment and we are growing and need more people to make it happen. I believe in our employees and there is a unique sense of pride to be a part of the overall mission of the company,” Billo explained.
Billo said they have been working hard to change the culture of the organization and keeping the same values from the founders of WEG. “We want to bring people in that align with our values here in Wells County.”
“We are strongly encouraging the individuals coming from Brazil to be engaged in Wells County and the community. We want them to learn to speak English, be a part of the school system, build relationships with community businesses and organizations. The people here are so friendly and I love it here in Wells County,” said Billo.
Billo concludes by saying in Portuguese, “OBRIGADO, BLUFFTON!” which translates to, thank you City of Bluffton!
Pictured in photo left to right:
Erin Prible, Wells County Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director
Kevin Sills, Ossian State Bank, Chamber Ambassador
Jim Brewer, Ossian State Bank, Chamber Board President
Jacie Reece, WEG Commercial Motors
Sid Schwartz, First Merchants Bank, Chamber Ambassador
Daniel Bochi, WEG Commercial Motors
Stacey Duncan, WEG Commercial Motors
Nick Huffman, Steffen Group, Chamber Ambassador
Christa Riley, WEG Commercial Motors
Silvio Billo, WEG Commercial Motors
Heather Morgan, National Oil, Chamber Ambassador
Alyssa Sponseller, Archbold & Lewis, Chamber Ambassador
Jen Kinyo, Ossian Health Communities, Chamber Ambassador
Tanner McClain, First Bank of Berne, Chamber Ambassador