Report puts focus on growing Wisconsin manufacturing

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive.
Posted by of Insight Publications

Wisconsin’s business climate improved in 2011, but continued reforms are needed to make the state a job-creating powerhouse and special attention is needed to promote manufacturing job creation, according to a new report released today by the U.S. Chamber’s National Chamber Foundation

The report, called Growing Wisconsin, was shared at a breakfast meeting sponsored by WMC and featuring Paul Jadin, president of the new Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and state business owners. Growing Wisconsin highlights the actions the state has taken over the past year to improve competitiveness, says Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO.

“We have made great strides, and we can do so much more. And, critical to our state’s success is to continue to defend and promote manufacturing because so many jobs come from manufacturing,” he says.

Growing Wisconsin recommends additional steps Wisconsin can take to grow its economy and build an enterprising state including:

  • Implement tax structures targeted at entrepreneurship and job creation.
  • Streamline regulatory processes to build up the state’s existing economic strength.
  • Invest in improving worker knowledge and training.
  • Modernize government and improve efficiency to reduce compliance costs for small businesses. Focus spending on critical investments like training and infrastructure that promote growth.
  • Protect and defend manufacturing – 33 percent of the Wisconsin economy – to promote job creation in all sectors.
  • Promote assistance for manufacturers for exports, training and tax relief.
  • Improve the state’s entrepreneurial and venture capital investment systems to support small businesses and promote start-up that create the most jobs.
  • Promote the livability aspects of Wisconsin’s mid-size communities to attract younger, mid-career families to the state.
  • Build constructive lines of dialogue between government, business, education and workforce leaders to efficiently and effectively implement needed policy changes.

The report draws special attention to the Wisconsin manufacturing sector, which directly and indirectly provides 35 percent of all wages in the state.

“State leaders should do everything possible to support current manufacturers,” the report says. Wisconsin has 88 percent more manufacturing concentration than the typical state, the report says. “Manufacturing leads the way as the state’s most competitive industry.”