Regional Roundup

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 :: Regional Roundup
Jessica Thiel
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

» INTERSTATE 41 CORRIDOR

Brown, Calumet, Outagamie, Winnebago, Fond du Lac Counties

World’s largest airline lands at ATW

With the announcement of the addition of American Airlines to its lineup of flight service providers, Appleton International Airport now boasts the presence of the three largest airlines in the United States.

Abe Weber, airport director, announced that the world’s largest airline will begin providing service at ATW on July 5. The service includes two flights daily to Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

“The impact of American’s presence in Appleton is a reflection of the needs and growth of this community,” Weber says.

Weber says the development is significant because many companies that have come into the region have travel agreements with American. With the first flight each day departing around 5:15 a.m., businesspeople will be able to reach, via O’Hare and American’s domestic network, any destination in the United States by lunchtime, he says.

Outagamie County Executive Thomas Nelson says the announcement is the result of diligence and hard work. “Earlier this week, there was a statewide news report talking about how airports about the size of ATW are seeing a trend of a decline in their service, and we’re bucking that trend,” he says.

The announcement is good news for businesses in particular, Weber says, as the airport has historically served business fliers primarily.

“We feel that this will continue with that trend,” Weber says. “The majority of the use will be business travel, but it also does open up both a very vibrant domestic market, a very vibrant international market for future travelers.”

The American Airlines-ATW flight schedule is live on American’s website. While the airline will only provide service to Chicago at this point, Weber says the service means passengers can reach a hub that will take them to 120 destinations.

“It’s a great starting point for them to come in and look at this market,” Weber says.

With the addition of American’s service, there are now five to six daily flights — depending on the season — connecting ATW to Chicago O’Hare. United Airlines provides the other connections.

FVTC’s business training center reopens after renovation

Fox Valley Technical College held a grand reopening ceremony for its business training center, housed in the newly remodeled Bordini Center.

More than 300 guests toured the center, which also is home to the college’s Venture Center for entrepreneur training, a Fab Lab, STEM programs and a printing technologies lab.

The enhanced space at Bordini includes a conference room that accommodates more than 400 people, nine SMART classrooms with IDEA paint, on-site hospitality services, dual presentation screens and infinite controlled lighting systems in each meeting space.

GOEDC receives startup support grant

The Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corp. received a $125,000 Capital Catalyst grant that will help fund a program that provides seed money to technology-based companies.

The matching grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. goes toward the $250,000 program that assists businesses in the sector that are likely to grow to benefit the area workforce and economy. The seed fund will focus on sectors including aviation/aerospace, advanced manufacturing, information systems, agriculture/food processing and medical devices.

“This fund is the first of its kind in Winnebago County, the I-41 Corridor and northeastern Wisconsin,” Jason White, CEO of GOEDC, said in a statement. “Greater Oshkosh’s economic development success is predicated on helping our existing businesses grow and showing our entrepreneurs that they are well-supported here in the Fox Valley.”

» THE NORTHWOODS

Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

Nicolet Plastics sold to True Venture Composites

Nicolet Plastics CEO Bob Macintosh sold the company to True Venture Composites LLC, an affiliate of Badger Mining Corp. of Berlin.

Badger Mining wanted to expand its business of mining and sand processing and looked to the plastics industry, ultimately selecting Nicolet Plastics. The company bought the Nicolet Plastics business and plant in Lakewood.

All employees and the management team for Nicolet Plastics will retain their jobs. True Ventures will seek additional acquisitions in the plastic industry in the future.

» THE LAKESHORE

Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Acuity ranks No. 9 on Best Companies to Work For list

Acuity Insurance nabbed the No. 9 spot on the 2017 Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. For the third straight year, Acuity has ranked among the top large employers for its workplace and corporate culture.

Over the past 17 years, Acuity has outpaced competitors in growing customer base and policyholder surplus. A strong workplace has contributed to the company’s low staff turnover, which has helped build stronger relationships with customers and independent agents, according to a statement.

The “100 Best Companies to Work For” list recognizes businesses that have exceptional workplace cultures. In compiling the annual ranking, organization Great Place to Work evaluates companies based on employee ratings of their workplace culture, including the level of trust they feel toward leaders, the pride they take in their jobs and the camaraderie they experience with coworkers.

Aurora to construct health care center in Manitowoc

Aurora Health Care will construct a new 18,000-square-foot Aurora Health Center located on Dewey Street on the south side of Manitowoc. The new facility is scheduled to open in the summer of 2018.

The new Aurora Health Center will house several departments including urgent care, an occupational health clinic, retail pharmacy, and lab/X-ray services. It will also include an employer-sponsored clinic through Aurora BayCare Employer Services. The new facility will serve as a replacement clinic for the current Aurora Health Center located on Reed Avenue.

Payment processing company moves to Sheboygan

Central Payment of Wisconsin has moved its operations to downtown Sheboygan. The 8-year-old firm outgrew its space in Plymouth and took the opportunity to move to the 7,000-square-foot-space on the second floor of 728 Pennsylvania Ave. in Sheboygan.

Opened in 2009, CPayWI offers turnkey merchant services such as credit card machines, point of sale systems, and virtual and mobile terminals. CPayWI plans to add 20 full-time positions to its call center and sales operation, with more growth and jobs planned for the next two years.

After years of working with major firms on the West Coast, CPayWI President Nick Korthals, a Sheboygan native, says he’s proud to bring some innovative thinking and employee appreciation programs home to the Midwest.

» WEST CENTRAL

Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Shawano Bearings uses grants to upgrade lighting

Shawano Bearings used a Shawano County Vision 2017 grant to update exterior and interior lighting. Since 2013, Shawano County Economic Progress Inc. has handed out 49 grants totaling $156,000 to small businesses.

The company’s owner, Tammy Framnes, used the grant to replace fluorescent lighting with LED. She says the improvements will improve the appearance of her business and help her save on energy costs.