Clinkenbeard Grows Despite the Poor Economy

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Fewer manufacturing jobs were added last month than any other month in the last year. But there still were 12,000 of them. And one company responsible for hiring is right here in the Stateline.

"A friend of mine told me about the job and I came and applied. From the sounds of it, I was the best candidate. Obviously because I was hired," says Trent Janssen, a Tool Designer at Clinkenbeard. A skilled machinist more than 12-years, Trent janssen says his new job at Clinkenbeard is not only rewarding but challenging. His latest project... A mock-up engine of a Mitsubishi regional jet.

Vice President Reg Gustafson says, "We have a strategy that should work in any economy. Were investing in people. People are the hardest thing to get, and we invest in equipment."

Some companies are seeing cut backs with the fickle economy, but Clinkenbeard is seeing a boost in employees and business. The company has added four full-time employees since October and they're in need for more. "The way I see the job market right now is there really is a lack of skilled people that are willing to come and work and put in the effort they need to to get some of this work done," says Janssen.

Gustafson says Clinkenbeard is part of a niche market in the aerospace industry. It's one of few companies in the nation that produces mock-ups for big time companies like Mitsubishi. "We have to bring the work in first. We don't invest in the equipment first and hope the work comes. We find the work first and do our marketing," he says. The nearly 50 year old company prides itself not only in making the best product for its clients, but being the fastest one to produce it.

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