Rural manufacturing focus of statewide summit

Posted on Nov 14, 2019 :: Insight on Manufacturing, Web Exclusive
Jessica Thiel
Posted by of Insight Publications

The Future Wisconsin Project, a program of the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Foundation, addresses the state’s long-term systemic, economic challenges. With partner representation from business, government and education, the program seeks to bring all economic stakeholders to the table to develop solutions. The year-long collaboration culminates with The Future Wisconsin Summit, held at the end of each year.

The summit, set for Dec. 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison, will feature discussions on rural Wisconsin, the agricultural economy and a keynote on the importance of STEM education.

In the lead-up to the event, WMC is leading a series of town halls focused on rural Wisconsin manufacturers. The organization held events in Horicon and at its headquarters in Madison in October, and today, it will hold events at Waupaca Foundry in Waupaca and Ariens Co. in Brillion.

The town halls look at workforce shortage and increasing divide between rural and urban centers. They include discussions of state and national economic and demographic data, national trends and best practices for bridging the rural and urban divide.

Manufacturing leaders speaking at the Dec. 12 event include Chad Hamilton, general counsel and executive vice president of legal and government affairs with Sargento Foods; Mike Nikolai, president/COO/CEO of Waupaca Foundry; Elizabeth Filter, president/CEO of VARC Inc.; Glen Tellock, president and CEO of Lakeside Foods; Steve Johnson, factory manager of John Deere Horicon Works; and Cindy Leitner, president of the Wisconsin Dairy Alliance.

To learn more or register, visit