Firm and city celebrate partnership

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OAK CREEK - You could say that Oak Creek has had a lock on an iconic company for some time now, but the firm's new facility locally opened the door for some new appreciation this month.

The Master Lock Company held an “unlocking” ceremony opening their new global headquarters, at 6744 S. Howell Ave., on May 4.

Master Lock was founded in Milwaukee in 1921, but its global headquarters have been in Oak Creek for the past 14 years. The company’s new location is due to the fact that the company had outgrown its previous location on Forest Hill Avenue.

Local partners

That history, and the local connection, isn't lost on city officials.

“We could not be more happy to have Master Lock remain a partner here in the city of Oak Creek,” said Mayor Dan Bukiewicz.

Bukiewicz said Master Lock has grown through collaboration and teamwork and Oak Creek is “proud to be part of the team.”

The mayor said he is proud to call Master Lock a “flagship business” in the city.

“Master Lock’s success is our success,” he said.

President of The Master Lock Company Mike Bauer agreed.

“It’s a good partnership. We’re proud to be part of the community,” Bauer said, adding he hopes to build “deeper roots” in Oak Creek.

Bauer also thanked the associates of Master Lock for their work in getting the new location going.

“It’s your dedication, your commitment, the talent and passion of our team that really is the inspiration behind everything we do,” he said.

Its new home

The 120,000-square-foot former Caterpillar building was fully renovated and will house an industrial design studio, software lab, prototype lab, electronic lab and quality lab.

“It’s more than just an office building,” Bauer said.

The location also features a 250-person amphitheater, call center, cafeteria and other amenities.

Approximately 400 workers already fill the building with room for an additional 80. Master Lock hopes to bolster positions in engineering, product design, software development and innovation and is hiring throughout the year.

Currently, the company has 41 open positions with 25 at the Oak Creek location. A news release states Master Lock has filled 142 jobs since December 2015.

Into the future

The future of The Master Lock Company, according to Bauer, is in electromechanical and digital products in addition to their standard mechanical locks.

State Rep. Jessie Rodriguez, whose 21st Assembly District includes Oak Creek, said Master Lock has adapted to a technology-driven environment while staying true to themselves.

“Master Lock has withstood the test of time by dedicating themselves to innovation and growth without losing their identity,” she said.

One of those modern locks was on display during the “unlocking” ceremony where Bauer used an app on a tablet to open the lock via Bluetooth.

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