Regional RoundUp l October

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



Highway 41 Corridor

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


Green Bay chamber taps

NWTC dean as next president

Laurie Radke, dean of corporate training and economic development at Northeast Wisconsin Technical Collge, is the new president of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. She replaces Paul Jadin, who was named Wisconsin Commerce Secretary by Gov. Scott Walker.

Radke was responsible for NWTC’s training, economic development and leadership programs for organizations in a multicounty region the college serves.

She began working at the chamber in late September.


Menasha Packaging plans

$2 million expansion project

Menasha Packaging’s Folding Carton Group is planning a $2 million expansion to its Neenah facility, including a 20,000-square-foot addition, a new 65-inch precision sheeter and an automated scrap removal system.

The expansion will shift the sheeting process in-house, which will facilitate faster order response times and provide improved board quality. Plant general manager Jim Snyder says the expansion’s greatest benefit is the additional control gained from moving the process in-house.

“Menasha will now carry out the sheeting and production process internally, giving us greater control over quality and timing, and allowing us to more effectively serve our customers,” he says. “At the end of the day, that’s what we are here to do.”

Currently, Menasha purchases standard-size sheeted product from a supplier, which can take six weeks to arrive at the plant. With the expansion, Menasha can buy and store raw material, and carry out the sheeting process to exact size. The process will facilitate faster order times, improve productivity and provide press operators with flatter square sheets. Because the new equipment sheets to size, the process will also generate less waste.


Austin Straubel provides $111.9 million to economy

Austin Straubel International Airport in Ashwaubenon contributed $111.9 million to the local and state economy in 2010, according to a study released by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

The airport supported 738 jobs and contributed $32.4 million in wages locally and in the state, the study says. The bureau used airport activity and business survey data, data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis on industry employment, wages and sales, and regional economic multipliers that estimate purchases and sales in various business sectors.


Rosendale Dairy, UW-Oshkosh

team up on biodigester

Wisconsin’s largest dairy farm will be home to one of Wisconsin’s most dynamic research, renewable energy production and public education facilities in an initiative involving the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s College of Letters and Science and UW-Oshkosh Foundation.

The proposal calls for construction of a large, wet anaerobic biodigester/biogas production facility at Milk Source LLC’s Rosendale Dairy in Pickett. The plant would use the farm’s livestock manure to make energy. It would also operate as a dynamic, collaborative UW-Oshkosh student-and-faculty biosolids research and teaching laboratory with an attached public education center.

This project “will help our students attain high-impact career skill and knowledge while advancing sustainable energy and environmental solutions for our campus and rural communities,” says UW-Oshkosh Provost Lane Earns.

The proposed wet biodigester will rely on Rosendale Dairy’s livestock manure, the on-site ingredient needed to produce methane gas and electricity. The process involves anaerobic digestion, the bacterial decomposition of organic matter that occurs in the absence of oxygen.

In the odor-controlled environment of the biodigester, gas produced is safely combusted and turned into electricity. The revenues that will come from the energy’s return to the grid will advance UW-Oshkosh’s operations and educational mission.


Grants to fund improvements at Outagamie airport

The Federal Aviation Administration awarded $448,500 in grant funds to the Outagamie County Airport to make improvements at the Greenville airport.

Airport Director Marty Lenss says the funds will be used to rehabilitate several concrete apron panels located on the air carrier apron. In addition, some funds will be used to design a runway 12/30 concrete panel replacement project. Lenss anticipates the runway project will be awarded in fiscal 2012.


The Lakeshore

Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan counties

Sheboygan airport aircraft business plan moves ahead

Morgan Aircraft LLC recently secured $8 million in equity investments and $1 million in state grant funds to move ahead on a plan to manufacture and market a powered-lift aircraft, which would be capable of making vertical take-offs and landings.

Morgan Aircraft was founded in 2005 and has worked since then on financing as well as the technical and engineering aspects of the business to make the aircraft a reality.

As part of receiving the Community Development Block Grant for Economic Development from Wisconsin, Morgan announced plans to invest $105 million by 2015 for phase 1 aircraft development and create 340 new full-time jobs by the end of 2015.

Morgan intends to establish a world headquarters, research and development and manufacturing facility at the Sheboygan County Memorial Airport in the Town of Sheboygan Falls.


Dairy Farmers of America plans Plymouth expansion

The Dairy Farmers of America is planning a $13.4 million capital investment in its Plymouth facility.

The project will be complete by the end of 2012 and include new equipment and more efficient operations, says Keith Gomes, DFA’s chief operating officer.

“This significant investment will help retain our 357 employees in Plymouth, whose annual payroll and benefits exceed $20 million,” he says. “We look forward to continuing our long-term presence in Wisconsin and involvement in the Plymouth community.”

The project was coordinated by the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation and included partners DFA, the City of Plymouth, Wisconsin’s Economic Development Corporation and Lakeshore Technical College.

Cellcom unveils Door County fiber optic network plans

Door County residents and visitors to the popular tourist destination will soon have increased access to high-speed Internet, increased capacity for data services and an expanded wireless network.

Cellcom recently announced plans to build a fiber optic network from Green Bay to Sturgeon Bay. The Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) and Cellcom joined forces with city and county representatives to plot a fiber route that will run through the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park and pass the hospital, shipyards and other high-demand users that could benefit from this ultra-high broadband service.

“This deployment in Door County will give us the opportunity to market our area as a fiber-driven business community,” says William Chaudoir, DCEDC’s executive director. “We greatly appreciate Cellcom’s investment in our community and commitment to improving our infrastructure.”


Lakeshore Technical College adds culinary programs

Lakeshore Technical College is adding two new culinary programs, pending final approval by the Wisconsin Technical College System.

The programs will be based at City Streets Riverside of Sheboygan. Students could begin training in May.

Local restaurant owners, chefs and representatives of hospitality and food industries have provided input and collaborated with the college on the type of programming, which will include an associate or technical diploma in culinary arts.


Festival Foods opens new store in Sheboygan

Festival Foods opened a new store on Taylor Drive in Sheboygan in mid-September.

The store features Orion skylights, “green” equipment including LED and motion sensor lighting, and a new customer-friendly deli layout.

The 71,000-square-foot store offers a “kitchen classics” meat department, natural and organic foods, fresh sushi, a healthy-choices salad bar, a hot foods bar, an extensive deli and prepared foods selection, a wine and spirits shop, and catering services. Customers will also have access to in-store banking services with the Associated Bank branch located in the store.


West Central

Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake counties

State aid helps Berlin expand its senior center

Berlin’s Senior Center is adding 1,000 square feet to better meet residents’ needs thanks to a $55,000 grant from Wisconsin’s Community Development Block Grant – Public Facilities program.

The center serves more than 1,500 senior citizens in the area. In addition to senior-related uses including nutrition programs for seniors and the Tri-County Aging and Disability Resource Center, the facility houses a variety of functions, including Moraine Park Technical College courses and Alcoholic Anonymous meetings.

The Northwoods

Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto counties

Oconto Hospital begins $15 million expansion project

Oconto Hospital & Medical Center in Oconto broke ground in September on a $15 million expansion project that will quadruple its size.

The project is a joint venture between the Oconto Hospital Citizens’ Foundation and Green Bay-based Bellin Health. As part of the project, services will be expanded as 46,000-square-feet is added to the existing 11,000-square-foot building.

The critical care hospital opened in 2005 and offers emergency care, therapy, diagnostic services, urgent care, sleep study, telemedicine, inpatient care and other basic services.

“We think what’s happening (with Marinette Marine) is going to have a positive impact on Oconto County and its growth,” says Chris Woleske, executive vice president of Bellin Health and CEO of Oconto Hospital.

Construction will be done by next summer. Once completed, the hospital will add about 75 jobs.

Green Bay-based Somerville Inc. is serving as the project’s architect.


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