Auto Supplier Adding Up To 150 Jobs In Winona

Auto Supplier Adding Up To 150 Jobs In Winona

TRW Automotive said that a contract it recently landed is driving its expansion in Minnesota.

Maybe you think of Winona as a sleepy hamlet on the Mississippi River. But one local employer is planning a big boost to its operations there this year.

Livonia, Michigan-based TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. is planning to add 125 to 150 new workers to its Winona operations, which already employ about 260 workers. Last week, the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced a $300,000 grant to Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical, which will train TRW staffers.

TRW spokesman John Wilkerson told Twin Cities Business that the company’s Winona expansion is being driven by a contract that the company has landed to work on “a new integrated electronic control panel” for two yet-to-be-launched new vehicles.

TRW is one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers; its products include braking, steering, safety, and electronic systems for vehicles.

“We’re happy to have the new business and start expanding in Winona,” Wilkerson said. “It’s positive news and we’re pleased to have more business and be able to hire more people in Winona. We’ll be doing that over the next several months.”

Wilkerson declined to name TRW’s client or the new vehicles, but said that the work would be for a “major North American customer.”

The bottom line? “It’s a significant bump in employment there,” Wilkerson said.

The state's award to TRW was one of 18 grants totaling $3.3 million that are part of the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership program.

Calli Ekblad, director of business relations for Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical, said that she expects that the training program will start this spring at the college’s Winona campus.

TRW is a publicly traded Fortune 500 company. For 2013, the company reported earnings of $970 million on revenue of $17.4 billion.

According to the Winona Port Authority, TRW ranks among the top 10 employers in Winona. The city’s largest employer is Winona-based Fastenal Company.