Snorkel to grow US workforce by more than 20%

23 February 2012

David Smith the president of Snorkel North America.

David Smith the president of Snorkel North America.

Due to increasing business in the US, Snorkel's North American President David Smith said the company expects to expand the workforce by 20 to 30% over the coming months.

"We are going to be hiring across the board, from assembly line workers and supervisors to office-based functions like purchasing and finance," Smith said.

Previous recessions have forced the company to close the doors to its factory in Elwood, Kansas, causing mass lay-offs. This time, Snorkel downsized but survived - and said that with demand once more returning for aerial lifts it is recruiting this year.

Snorkel recently announced it was raising an additional $19 million from investors, to help increase production capacity in line with growing demand for its products. The company's order book is said to have grown 170% in recent months.

"We have survived this prolonged recession because of the global nature of our business," said Mr Smith. "We have much better developed distribution channels and some of these markets were untouched by the downturn - Scandinavia is a classic example."

Together with rental companies buying to replace aging fleet, Snorkel said it is also seeing strong demand from Latin America, driven by its booming mining sector and massive public works projects.

The Elwood factory produces lifts for North America and Latin America. It is also Snorkel's global producer of big boom lifts. The global design engineering team, responsible for new product development, is also based in Elwood.

"The downturn asked some hard questions of Snorkel as a company and I am proud that we answered them," said Smith. "It was a tough recession but we have emerged a leaner, smarter company with a stronger product range. We'll be a more sustainable business through the upswing."

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