A military contract awarded to a Bedford Park company may mean the return of hundreds of middle-class jobs to the southwest suburbs.
U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) announced Monday that Hoist Liftruck, a manufacturer of heavy lifting equipment, will begin work on a $925 million U.S. defense department contract. The Bedford Park company and its Midwest suppliers expect to increase their work forces over the next five years.
Hoist Liftruck beat out 25 competitors for the lucrative defense contract. The material handling equipment manufacturer will supply the military with high-capacity forklifts and container handlers over the next five years, a statement from Lipinski’s office said.
Lipinski, who intervened on the Bedford Park company’s behalf in 2011 when a $670,000 federal contract was awarded to a South Korean company in violation of the Buy American provisions, said the latest contract is expected to create hundreds of jobs in Chicago’s south region.
“I could not be more proud of Hoist Liftruck,” Lipinski said during a Monday appearance in Bedford Park to announce the contract. “The company has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to creating jobs in our area. Hoist’s selection for this contract is another reminder of the great products being made locally and the tremendous potential for growing job creation in our communities.
The congressman also took Monday’s appearance to introduce his Buy American Improvement Act, which Lipinski says would close loopholes in existing laws by making sure that tax dollars employ American workers.
Company president Marty Flaska said that revitalization of act has brought Hoist more federal contracts, enabling the company to bolster its workforce from 75 to 300 employees.
This latest contract from the U.S. Department of Defense will allow the Bedford Park company “to increase our workforce and support jobs not just at Hoist, but through extension many other Midwest companies in our supply chain,” Flaska said.
The first work orders have already been received this month, with the expectation of hundreds’ more jobs being created before the five-year contract expires. All of the equipments' components are made at Hoist or purchased from other nearby suppliers.
Hoist marketing director Jentry Prine told Patch that the company would be adding machinists, assemblers, welding operators and a wide range of other manufacturing positions as more work orders flow into the company.
Hoist currently has three positions advertised on its web site, and included in Patch’s LOCAL JOBS.
Prine said that job candidates interested future openings should submit a resume and application on the company website.
“Applications will go straight to our human resources department,” she said.