Regional Roundup January

Posted on Jan 1, 2011 :: Up Front
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Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

The New North
News affecting all 18 counties of the New North region

Wisconsin Wind Works continues to expand

Wisconsin Wind Works, a consortium of wind energy suppliers and manufacturers established by the New North, Inc., keeps growing. The Wisconsin Wind Works Supply Chain Directory added 40 companies in 2010, bringing the statewide total to 279. The organization also recently launched its new website – www.wiwindworks.com – and has since received hundreds of visitors from 11 countries on four continents. As part of the launch, the Supply Chain Directory was redesigned to be more user friendly, offer enhanced search options and include a new category of business.

Highway 41 Corridor
Brown, Calumet, Outagamie, Winnebago, Fond du Lac Counties

Shannon Meyer is new Fox Cities Chamber leader Shannon L. Meyer is the new president and chief executive officer of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce. She replaces Bill Welch, who retired after 23 years. Meyer, 35, has served as president and CEO of the 1,500-plus member Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce in Iowa since 2008. Meyer previously held a similar position with the Twin Cities North Chamber in Mounds View, Minn., which served 800 members.

Kaukauna’s Arla Foods receives expansion grants

Arla Foods is adding an $8.9 million, 6,200-square-foot expansion to its plant in Kaukauna, a move that could create 41 jobs. Arla Foods is receiving $275,000 in state economic development tax credits to support the project. The expansion will help Arla Foods expand its specialty cheese production. The company sells its dairy products throughout the world and is part of a Danish/Swedish co-op dairy owned by farmers and their families.

Menasha Corporation adds Renewegy wind turbines

Menasha Corporation is installing five wind turbines for electrical generation at its office and manufacturing complex on the southwest side of Neenah along U.S. 41. (Other Northeast Wisconsin businesses are also turning to wind power. See “Blade Runners’ on page 44.)
“Our renewable energy project is part of the corporation’s support of alternative energy solutions and our focus on becoming a leader in sustainability,” says Jim Kotek, Menasha Corporation’s president and CEO.
Menasha Corporation is purchasing five 20 kW wind turbines from Oshkosh-based Renewegy, which specializes in manufacturing wind energy turbines. The turbines are expected to produce enough electrical power to provide for the basic office needs for the corporation headquarters and for Menasha Packaging.

The North Woods
Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

Peshtigo’s BPM receives energy program funds

BPM Inc., a Peshtigo paper manufacturer, received $340,000 in grants from the State Energy Program, which is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funds will allow BPM to purchase more energy-efficient equipment for its Peshtigo facility, making the project eligible for a Wisconsin Focus on Energy award. The complete project is expected to cost $490,000.

The Lakeshore
Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Kewaunee County touts growth opportunities

Kewaunee County has unveiled a new logo and tagline: Everything Grows Better Here. The logo, which features a sunrise and a river between two hills running to a lake, is designed to represent the driving force behind the brand – the people, places and resources that make the county such a special place. The new brand showcases the area’s character, unique resources and endless opportunities for growth, says Jennifer Brown, executive director of the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corp.

Manitowoc airport gets new hangar

Lakeshore Aviation built a new 5,000-square-foot aircraft hangar next to its existing facilities at the Manitowoc County Airport. The airport is seeing increased traffic and more aircraft are now based at the airport.The new hangar comes at the same time the airport is installing a new fuel farm and self-service fueling pumps. The system will allow pilots of privately operated aircraft to fuel their planes at any time.

Sheboygan County video promotes business

The Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation is touting a 15-minute video designed to put the county’s best foot forward to encourage new business to come and to promote existing companies, such as Kohler Co., Sargento Foods and Bemis Manufacturing. “The Promise of Sheboygan County” shows off the county’s natural resources, including Lake Michigan, fishing on rivers, fields of flowers and changing seasons in the Kettle Moraine, as well as some of its top attractions, such as Whistling Straits and Road America.
The organization hopes to market the video and its business efforts in the regional area, and eventually go national with it. The video can be seen on the organization’s website, www.SheboyganCountyEDC.com

West Central
Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Wisconsin Film & Bag plans Shawano recycling center

Wisconsin Film & Bag in Shawano is launching a $4.7 million project to create an industrial plastic film recycling center in the former Komatsu building. The recycling center will convert post-consumer plastic scrap materials into resin pellets to use in the company’s film and bag-making facility. The company is receiving a $1.8 million low-interest loan from the state for the project.
Jim Feeney, president of Wisconsin Film & Bag, says the project is expected to create 29 new jobs over the next three years. Wisconsin Film & Bag employs 118.