• The Northwoods Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties Marinette Marine awarded Navy guided missile design contract
The U.S. Navy awarded Marinette Marine Corp. a $15 million contract to redesign its guided missile frigate.
Closely matched to U.S. Navy requirements, six FREMM frigates are in service with the Italian Navy and have successfully completed multi-role missions worldwide. A FREMM-based design also was chosen in Australia for the Royal Australian Navy.
Fincantieri Marinette Marine has teamed with Gibbs & Cox and Trident Maritime Systems to evolve FREMM to U.S. design standards. This wholly American team will develop a ship design, which, in case of award of the construction contract, would be built at Fincantieri shipyards in the United States.
• Interstate 41 Corridor Brown, Calumet, Outagamie, Winnebago, Fond du Lac Counties Gulfstream to construct new center at Appleton International Airport
Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. announced plans to construct a new service center at Appleton International Airport to support its growing customer fleet.
This additional Gulfstream Appleton facility, which will complement the existing hangar and office space, is expected to begin operations in the second quarter of 2019 and create approximately 200 jobs.
Gulfstream will develop an approximately $40 million, nearly 180,000-square-foot maintenance, repair and overhaul facility northeast of the airport terminal. The new building will include a hangar, offices, back shops and support space. The expansion will boost the number of employees at Gulfstream Appleton to more than 1,000. Groundbreaking is scheduled for the second quarter of 2018.
Associated Bank invests $1 million in women’s business loan fund
Associated Bank has invested $1 million in the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp.’s “Putting Dreams to Work” Loan Opportunity fund.
The investment, which will support micro and small business loans for women- and minority-owned companies throughout Wisconsin, was given through Associated Bank’s Associated Community Development. Loans distributed as part of the investment will help businesses purchase equipment, make improvements to their stores or locations, stock inventory and supplement startup costs.
“I have seen firsthand the positive impact WWBIC has had on small business owners across the state,” John Utz, executive vice president, head of corporate banking and Milwaukee market president for Associated Bank, said in a press release. “With over $60 million in loans distributed since their founding, WWBIC has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs achieve the dream of owning their own businesses.”
New North companies receive WMC manufacturing awards
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce recognized three New North companies for its 2017 Manufacturer of the Year awards.
Oshkosh Corp. was named Manufacturer of the Year in the mega category, and Nicolet Plastics of Mountain received the award in the small category. Pet food manufacturer Carnivore Meat Co., Green Bay, received a special award for its global brand growth.
The Manufacturer of the Year Award program, sponsored by WMC, advisory firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause and legal firm Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP, is an annual recognition of excellence in manufacturing. It celebrates the successes of manufacturers in the state, their innovations, philanthropy, technological advances, commitment to customer satisfaction and quality jobs.
In addition to the winners, several Northeast Wisconsin companies were nominated: Sargento Foods, Plymouth, mega category; Pro Products, Sturgeon Bay, small category; Evergreen Tool Co., Peshtigo, small category; Energy Bank Inc., Manitowoc, small category; and Generac, with operations in Oshkosh and Berlin, mega category.
• The Lakeshore Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties Sheboygan, Manitowoc named in Site Selection rankings
The Sheboygan and Manitowoc regions have received national recognition for their economic development successes in Site Selection magazine’s annual ranking of top metro areas in the United States for corporate facility investment projects in 2017.
The Sheboygan area, which had 11 projects last year, is ranked No. 6 nationally among metro areas with populations of fewer than 200,000, a dramatic jump from its No. 31 ranking in 2016.
Manitowoc, which had eight corporate investment projects in 2017, was tied for seventh place in the magazine’s 2017 ranking of the top micropolitan areas in the nation. A micropolitan statistical area is one or more adjacent counties that have at least one urban core area of at least 10,000 but fewer than 50,000 population.
Included among the Sheboygan area’s major projects in 2017 were the expansion of the MilliporeSigma facility in Sheboygan Falls, a $64 million project expected to create 175 jobs; the $61 million expansion of Masters Gallery Foods Inc. in Oostburg, expected to create 150 jobs; and Johnsonville’s corporate headquarters expansion, a $16 million project expected to add about 100 jobs. The MilliporeSigma expansion was the 10th largest economic development project in Wisconsin last year.
The top projects in Manitowoc County included Forefront Dermatology’s expansion of its Manitowoc offices, a $1.1 million project expected to create 241 jobs; DOWCO Inc.’s $2.5 million expansion in Manitowoc, which is expected to create 37 jobs; and a $3 million expansion by Color Craft Graphic Arts Inc. in Manitowoc, which should result in the hiring of 15 people.
Lakeshore Tech to offer new manufacturing IT degree
Lakeshore Technical College is launching a new program focused on providing skilled information technology professionals for manufacturing settings.
LTC’s manufacturing information technology associate degree program, which begins in fall 2018, was created with industry feedback and helps bridge a skills gap in manufacturing environments. The 60-credit program teaches students how to support every aspect of advanced manufacturing operations and to help companies function at peak efficiency.
The program provides hands-on training with computer hardware, operating systems, application software, mobile devices and networks. In addition, students will learn how to provide excellent customer service to the employees who fill the various roles they will support.
“Before Manufacturing IT was created, there was not a single program preparing IT graduates to work on equipment on the manufacturing floor,” Jim Lemerond, LTC dean of business and technology, said in a press release. “Now, our program will give program graduates skills in both information technology and electromechanical technology.”
Kohler Co., UW-Madison partner to unveil visualization design studio
Kohler Co. and the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering leaders dedicated the new Kohler Innovation Visualization Studio in Wendt Commons on the UW-Madison campus.
In addition to donating $1 million to renovate the space, Kohler has committed ongoing involvement from its associates to ensure students gain the innovative mindset and technical knowledge that companies like Kohler need to compete in today’s technology-driven world.
In addition to providing a space to develop new ideas, leaders expect the expanded collaboration will directly benefit Kohler’s efforts to attract talented engineers to advance its own product offerings and remain an industry leader in plumbing and power generation.
The new space will offer students the chance to use virtual and augmented reality and data modeling to turn their ideas into marketable concepts that companies can commercialize into products that matter to their customers and improve the lives of people around the world.
Safety Fresh of Plymouth to use new food safety technology
Safety Fresh Foods will open in the former Borden’s facility on Plymouth’s south side. The company, owned by Sammark Holdings LLC, will introduce a new technology, high pressure pasteurization, used to help ensure food is free of harmful pathogens.
HPP is a cold pasteurization technique by which products, already sealed in their final package, are introduced to a vessel and subjected to a high level of isostatic pressure transmitted by water. First introduced in Europe, this technology is in use by many companies, however, none located in or near Sheboygan County.
• West Central Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties Marion Body Works receives supplier award for work with military trucks
Marion Body Works received the Navistar Diamond Supplier Award at the company’s awards ceremony. The suppliers recognized represent the top one-half of 1 percent of the supply base.
Marion provides Navistar commercial and military custom-engineered truck bodies. The company recognized Marion for rapid response to complex proposals and for providing excellent support and quality. Marion’s work allowed Navistar to deliver additional vehicles to the U.S. government and helped the company exceed its goals.
“The team at Marion is proud of what we provide our customers like Navistar,” Marion President and CEO Curt Ignacio said in a press release. “We will continue our 30-plus-year history supporting our U.S. Warfighters and our allies around the world.”