Wolverine site could reopen with 250 jobs; ULA, Dynetics projects also unveiled

Aug 3, 2017

From The Decatur Daily
by Evan Belanger

Operations could resume at the Wolverine Tube site in Decatur after a 10-year break and eventually produce 250 jobs, according to an application for a tax abatement approved today.

The Decatur Industrial Development Board also approved tax abatements for two other significant projects this afternoon:

• A $115 million expansion by United Launch Alliance for the manufacture of its new Vulcan launch system.

•  A 15-job expansion for Dynetics with average salary of $67,000.

“It’s just exciting. It’s a great day to be in Decatur,” IDB chairman Jack Fite said.

A Dynetics official said its expansion would add manufacturing capability with customers including NASA.

A Wolverine engineering manager said they hope to reopen by the end of the year processing aluminum.

The 250 Wolverine jobs are projected to ramp up over a three-year period with average salary of $41,000.

Wolverine Tube began production in Decatur in 1948 on 265 acres. The company originated in Detroit in 1916 to help supply seamless radiator tubes. It decided to locate in Decatur for better access to raw materials.

The company, which made copper tube for air-conditioning units and residential plumbing, announced in 2007 it would end operations at the Decatur plant, laying off more than 400 employees. Production of its trademark copper pipes ended Dec. 21, 2007, and production facilities closed Jan. 6, 2008.