Regional roundup

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 :: Regional Roundup
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer


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

New North companies advance in ‘coolest things’ contest

The first round of voting in the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest garnered nearly 32,000 votes. The top 16 products vie to become the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin, competing against each other in a bracket-style tournament called Manufacturing Madness.

The second round of the bracket competition will be held Oct. 2-6, with the final round slated for Oct. 10-16. The winner will be announced at the State of Wisconsin Business & Industry Luncheon to be held Oct. 16 at Monona Terrace in Madison.

Those from the New North making the top 16 include:

Seed 2: Generac Power Systems’ XC Generator (the Waukesha-based company has facilities in Berlin
and Oshkosh)

• Seed 5: Oshkosh Corp.’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle

• Seed 6: Briess Malt & Ingredients’ Specialty Malts

• Seed 8: Ariens Co.’s Sno-Thro

• Seed 9: Waupaca Foundry’s iron castings for agricultural equipment

• Seed 11: Sargento’s Balanced Breaks

• Seed 14: Mercury Marine’s Joystick Piloting System

• Seed 16: Bassett Mechanical’s saturation diving pressure vessels

Status of Women in NE Wisconsin report released
The Fond du Lac Area Women’s Fund, the Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region, the Women’s Fund of Greater Green Bay and the Women’s Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation have collaborated to release an updated Status of Women in Northeast Wisconsin report. The Women’s Funds first released the Status of Women in Northeast Wisconsin Report in 2011.

The 2017 report gives a current and comprehensive picture of the most pressing issues for women and girls in Northeast Wisconsin.

Key findings from the report include:

• Poverty rates are higher for women than men, across all age groups, and older women are twice as likely as older men to be in poverty.

• Regionally, the wage gap ranges from 72 cents on the dollar on average for women in Fond du Lac County to 78 cents in Brown County.

• In Northeast Wisconsin, 27 percent of businesses are women-owned, up from 24 percent in 2007 but still below the statewide percentage of 31 percent.

• One out of five women in the region has some college experience, but has not completed a degree.

Faith partners to build microgrid for Bubolz
Faith Technologies, in partnership with Schneider Electric, is engineering and building the largest, most advanced microgrid in the Midwest to power the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve using renewable energy. The new 18,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art environmental center is expected to be complete and open to the public in January 2018. Faith Technologies is partnering with The Boldt Co. on the construction of the building.

The Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve in Appleton is a 725-acre non-profit nature preserve that connects the community to nature. The microgrid will include photovoltaic solar, a hydrogen fuel cell, battery storage, micro turbine and a natural gas generator, which will enable Bubolz to demonstrate the most advanced methods of energy conservation in the world, with STEM programs to educate students of all ages.

GRB economic impact tops $265 million annually
Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport brings more than $265 million in economic impact and supports over 1,700 jobs, according to a study by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation – Bureau of Aeronautics.

The organization released its economic impact study of GRB, and based on a comprehensive study of 2016 data, it found GRB had a $265.3 million economic impact, supporting 1,719 jobs and contributing $77.2 million in labor income to the local and state economy. An earlier study found that Appleton International Airport produced $676 million in economic output and created more 3,200 jobs.


Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties


Waupaca Foundry Marinette facility receives award

Waupaca Foundry’s Marinette and Waupaca sites received Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Co.’s Environmental Stewardship Award, the company’s fourth award from the engine maker since 2011.

In addition to the two environmental awards, Waupaca Foundry received Kawasaki’s 2011 Cost Savings Award and its 2012 Supplier of the Year Award. 

Waupaca Foundry — like other metalcasters — is an energy-intensive manufacturer, and for more than a decade, the iron casting supplier has sought smarter ways to use and conserve the planet’s resources.


Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Report reveals strong Sheboygan County growth

Wisconsin’s annual report on property tax reveals that Sheboygan County is significantly outgrowing the state. The report revealed strong commercial and industrial growth in the county.   

Sheboygan County added nearly $160 million in new construction value, or a 5.4 percent growth rate, over one percentage point faster than the State of Wisconsin’s growth of 4.1 percent.

The bulk of development in Sheboygan County was commercial, outgrowing many comparable areas such as Rock, Fond du Lac and Outagamie counties. The local growth in commercial was over 30 percent faster than the state overall. Industrial development was 230 percent greater than the state average, again vastly outpacing most comparable areas.

Where Sheboygan County underperformed was residential development. Comparing similar data reveals residential new construction was 40 percent less than Wisconsin’s average. Sheboygan County’s new home construction value was only $349 per capita, while counties such as Outagamie and Brown built well over $600 of new homes per capita.

“It has become a real dilemma for our area. Our employers are hiring many Americans from outside the area, but available housing is not keeping up with demand,” Dane Checolinski, director of the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp., said in a press release.

MilliporeSigma announces expansion plan, new jobs

MilliporeSigma, the life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt,Germany, announced plans to expand its facility in Sheboygan Falls by 80,000 square feet. With this construction, which includes the consolidation of its Flavors & Fragrances and Stains & Dyes operations in Milwaukee and Europe, and the growth of existing operations in Wisconsin, MilliporeSigma expects to create approximately 175 jobs over the next three years.

To secure the company’s investment in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. authorized MilliporeSigma to receive up to $1.25 million in tax credits over the next three years. The actual amount of credits the company will earn is contingent upon the number of jobs created and the level of capital investment over that time.


Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Tourism expert presents thoughts on Shawano area

The Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce hosted tourism guru Roger Brooks to “secret shop” the area. Brooks delivered his Art of Branding presentation on Aug. 7.

He gave positive feedback on what communities and businesses are doing well and suggestions on how to improve in various areas. Many of his suggestions included simple and inexpensive ways to make the area more inviting. The presentation was one part of a larger destination branding effort for the Shawano and Menominee county region.

As a next step, the chamber has asked area residents to fill out a nine-question survey on the organizations homepage,