Bosch plans worldwide birthday celebrationBosch is marking its 125th anniversary of continuous business operations and the local plant is planning to be a part of the celebration.
By: By Jeff Holmquist, New Richmond News
Bosch is marking its 125th anniversary of continuous business operations and the local plant is planning to be a part of the celebration.
Bosch launched its business in Germany in 1886, focusing on precision mechanics and electrical engineering while developing new products. Founder Robert Bosch started his venture with two employees.
By 1906, Bosch had expanded into the United States.
It has since produced hundreds of different products, from automotive parts to packaging equipment to power tools to household appliances.
“There’s a lot of stuff that Bosch does that people don’t realize,” said Pres Lawhon, president of Bosch Packaging Technologies.
Today, Bosch employs more than 290,000 people in more than 60 countries. In the U.S. alone, Bosch employs 20,000 people in 70 locations, including New Richmond and Shell Lake. A total of 260 employees work in the two western Wisconsin locations.
In each Bosch location, including New Richmond’s Bosch Packaging Technology Inc. plant, a special celebration is being planned as part of the 125th birthday year.
“It’s a pretty cool thing,” Lawhon said of the global birthday celebration.
In honor of Bosch’s big anniversary, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-Third District) presented the New Richmond plant with a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol on May 19, 2011 in honor of the company’s milestone.
The local industry’s celebration is Friday and Saturday, Aug. 19-20.
On Friday, Aug. 19, local business people, area Chamber of Commerce members, school officials and vendors are invited to stop by from 9-11 a.m. for an open house.
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day, Bosch customers, government officials, sales agents and media representatives are invited to participate in the celebration.
The general public will be welcomed from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, for the continued open house. Bosch employees and their families will be treated to a special gathering from 12:30-3 p.m. Saturday.
Planned activities for both days include a tour of the newly remodeled facility, along with machine demonstrations.
“It will allow everyone to see the renovations we’ve made,” Lawhon said. “A lot has been done since our last open house four years ago.”
“We’d like to see the town come in and see what we do here,” said Alana Brown, marketing coordinator. “It’s open to everyone.”
Activities for kids are planned, and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College students will be on hand for demonstrations.
Local car dealerships will display vehicles at the open house, with Bosch components prominently marked on each vehicle.
The New Richmond High School Super Mileage Team will also be on hand to display their high-mileage vehicle.
Cake and lemonade will be served.
As the company closes the books on its first 125 years, the future is just as bright as Bosch’s past.
Lawhon said business has been good and continues to grow.
“We’re seeing a step up in the economy,” he said. “2009 was a tough year, but 2010 was better. And 2011 is even better.”