Regional roundup

Posted on Mar 30, 2021 :: Regional Roundup
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Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

interstate 41 Corridor

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

Green Bay Packaging opens new paper mill, could hire 200

Green Bay Packaging Inc. opened its new paper mill, giving the United States its first new paper mill in 30 years.

The new mill replaced the company’s former facility, which was 71 years old. The project allowed Green Bay Packaging to preserve 1,100 jobs, with the possibility of adding another 200. The plant is the largest single business development project in Brown County’s history.

A new recycled containerboard machine is at the heart of the new facility and will increase the company’s recycled containerboard capacity by 50 percent. Containerboard is used to make corrugated boxes.

The new mill increases Green Bay Packaging’s production capacity by 2.5 times and allows it to put out a higher-quality product. “This will be as good a sheet of paper as there is in the industry,” Bryan Hollenbach, executive vice president of Green Bay Packaging, said in a fall 2020 interview with Insight.

Founded in 1933, Green Bay Packaging employs 1,575 people at six sites in Green Bay, De Pere and Ashwaubenon.

Menominee Nation Arena seeking new naming rights

The Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh will get a new name.

In a statement, Menominee tribal leaders said the decision to step away from the naming rights agreement and focus on its primary operations was necessary due to the impact the pandemic had on its business.

“Our longstanding partnership with Menominee Nation has been an evolution and great partnership,” arena General Manager Jason Fields said in a statement. “Menominee Nation has helped bring excitement and memorable moments to the city of Oshkosh and fans nationwide.”

The arena will work with Spectra Partnerships of Philadelphia to find a new naming rights partner, Fields said. The arena also continues multiyear partnerships with Keurig-Dr. Pepper, Soper Contracting, Palermo’s Pizza Brands and Cobblestone Hotel Brands.

Fox Valley Pro Basketball Inc., which owns and operates the Oshkosh arena, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September after reaching agreements with its creditors, including the Wisconsin Herd, a G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, and the City of Oshkosh.

Luvata announces $37 million expansion of Kimberly facility

Appleton-based Luvata announced plans for a 70,000-square-foot expansion to its existing mill on Carter Court in the Kimberly industrial complex. The new manufacturing space will include the latest technology and automation for the production of copper-alloy wire and rod for a total investment of approximately $37 million.

The company continues to see rapid growth across several key markets, with customers depending on Luvata for copper-alloy products and solutions. Luvata Appleton produces copper-alloy wire and rod that primarily serve the automotive, alkaline battery, defense, aquaculture and cold-heading markets. 

“This investment is testament to the many talented and hardworking people we have on our team,” said John Stevens, president of Luvata Appleton LLC. “It also reflects our commitment to meet the growing needs of our customers.” 

Luvata Appleton anticipates adding 30-35 employees due to the expansion. Luvata has three manufacturing locations in the Appleton and Kimberly area. The original mill on Carter Court was constructed in 1990, with additional capacity added in 1994. Construction of the latest 70,000-square-foot addition is scheduled to begin early in the second quarter, with production starting in the second quarter of 2022.

Schreiber Foods launches logistics redistribution solution

Schreiber Foods has launched Schreiber Logistics, a redistribution business aimed at helping retailers, restaurants and food distributors avoid the struggles of managing the end-to-end supply chain.

Schreiber’s network moves more than 2 billion pounds of refrigerated product to U.S. retail, foodservice and contract manufacturing each year. It wants to offer those same efficiencies to the food industry. 

The solution works by consolidating deliveries. When manufacturers add their product to Schreiber’s trucks, they will get the same benefit of Schreiber’s large scale and speed. It aims to provide improved service, reduced costs and access to new markets.

The Northwoods

Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

Charter plans to roll out broadband to Northwoods

Charter Communications is planning to bring high-speed broadband to an estimated 143,000 Wisconsin homes and small businesses.

According to Charter, more than $668 million will be invested in Wisconsin to help rural areas.

Two counties in the Northwoods — Marinette and Forest — will benefit from the investment. According to Charter, about one in three of Forest Countys more than 9,000 residents and Marinette County’s more than 40,000 residents lack access to high-speed broadband.

As a result of Charters investment, an estimated 13,978 homes and small businesses in Marinette County and 5,736 in Forest County will have access to the internet.

West Central

Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Waupaca Foundry sells Pennsylvania iron foundry

Victaulic of Easton, Pa., has acquired the former Waupaca Foundry Inc. iron foundry in Lawrenceville, Pa. Victaulic is a manufacturer of mechanical pipe joining, fire protection and flow control products.

Waupaca Foundry closed the Lawrenceville facility last August. The company said the closure was an alignment of manufacturing operations in the United States and was a result of capacity that exceeded demand in the supply chain.

“It’s critical that we stay in front of changing market conditions and customer demand for long-term sustainability,” Waupaca Foundry President, COO and CEO Mike Nikolai said at the time. “Our ability to remain flexible in an evolving marketplace will continue to create opportunity for our employees and customers.”

The Lawrenceville plant produced automotive suspension components including steering knuckles, control arms and brackets for original equipment manufacturers. Parts produced at the Lawrenceville foundry moved to other Waupaca Foundry plants and continue to be machined and assembled at the Effingham, Ill., location. 

The Lakeshore

Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Sheboygan may lose its status as a metropolitan statistical area

A committee of experts tasked by the Office of Management and Budget with developing new standards for what defines a metropolitan center has recommended that dozens of cities be downgraded from metropolitan to micropolitan designations.

Nearly 150 municipalities across the United States were recommended to be downgraded, including smaller cities such as Sheboygan, as well as college towns such as Charlottesville, Va., and Corvallis, Ore. Under the new designation, only cities with permanent populations of 100,000 or more would be considered metropolitan statistical areas. Other cities facing the downgrade include the capitals of New Mexico and North Dakota, Santa Fe and Bismarck.

Johnsonville further partners with prescriptive analytics firm

Johnsonville has further expanded its partnership with DecisionNext, a prescriptive analytics firm that offers decision makers in food, agriculture and mining actionable and transparent recommendations that allow for better-informed decisions when buying and selling commodities.

The DecisionNext technology provides Johnsonville insights into sourcing, harvest planning and pricing. These insights allow the established sausage innovator the opportunity to develop more accurate long-range plans to benefit the business and its customers.

“We are thrilled to be working with a world-class analytics company like DecisionNext,” said Nick Meriggioli, CEO of Johnsonville. “Applying their portfolio of models to the pork market helps us see around corners and plan better for the future.”

DecisionNext technology combines artificial intelligence and human intelligence for overall stronger decision making on a variety of levels for its customers.

Within the protein industry, DecisionNext provides data analytics and forecasting focused on helping customers in the agribusiness and global protein industries gain a better understanding of risk management to make better, faster decisions from procurement to sales.

SS Badger adds precautions, will operate at full capacity


The SS Badger Lake Michigan Carferry will run its sailing season May 20 through Oct. 10, operating at full 600-person capacity and carrying people and cargo. 

The ferry experienced disruption due to the pandemic in its 2020 season as well as coming under the new ownership of Cleveland-based Interlake in December.

The SS Badger is requiring passengers to wear face masks when they board the ship and abide by social distancing guidelines, providing hand sanitizer throughout the vessel, offering additional outside seating, sanitizing frequently, and canceling evening sailings to allow for deep cleaning each night.

Construction complete on Sheboygan Falls apartments


Construction is complete on the 71-unit Tannery Falls luxury apartment development on Broadway Street in Sheboygan Falls. 

Apartments available include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom options. Amenities include heated underground parking, a fitness center, community room, rooftop deck and dog-washing station, and every unit has a balcony.

Tannery Falls also offers a preferred employer program in which associates from companies such as Acuity, Kohler Co., Johnsonville and Aurora can receive discounted rents.