Enercon Engineering has created jobs, invested in new technology, and increased revenues in part because of funding support from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and technical assistance provided by the non-profit Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC) and. A group of Central Illinois lawmakers, including State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), recently met with Enercon's leadership to tour the company's facility and discuss manufacturing competitiveness in Illinois. East Peoria-based Enercon has experienced revenue growth of more than 91% by meeting worldwide demand for switchgears and controls for customers in the power-generation sector. In one high-profile example of Enercon's flexibility, the company helped meet Japan's need for power in the wake of the devastating tsunami and nuclear shutdown that occurred earlier this year. On seven weeks, notice, Enercon provided 48 megawatts to the country, beating the delivery time of an overseas competitor.
"The state of the art capabilities and equipment at Enercon are examples of why no one can out-produce the U.S.," Koehler said. "A focus on quality and responsiveness to the customer has enabled us to re-capture some of manufacturing investments that may have been lost before." Over the years, Enercon has utilized IMEC for assistance in a number of areas, most recently engaging IMEC specialists to standardize operating methods and provide workers with new tools to increase output and resolve problems. IMEC works with small and mid-sized manufacturers throughout Illinois to make improvements in their productivity, quality, safety, and other operational areas. "IMEC has domain-specific expertise in areas where we may not have the in-house resources," said Larry Tangel, CEO of Enercon Engineering. "They recently helped increase the knowledge and capability of our supervisors so they're more effective in leading their people." That project was partially paid for by a grant from DCEO's Employer Training Investment Program. "Working with IMEC and DCEO enables us to make the improvements more quickly and affordably," said Tangel. "Enercon Engineering is an innovative company with very progressive leadership," said Tucker Kennedy, Vice President of Marketing for IMEC. "Just being able to show our elected leaders what Enercon has accomplished will help dispel any myths that manufacturing is dead or that it is not possible to be competitive here."