UP FRONT – Regional Round Up – May

Posted on May 1, 2012 :: Up Front
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer


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

FVTC building plans underway after vote passage

Fox Valley Technical College is moving ahead with $66.5 million in capital projects after district voters approved a referendum on April 3.

The college will now expand buildings and programs in areas of key demand, including public safety, health technology and transportation.

“These projects will add to the economic growth and development of this region – there’s no question about that,” says FVTC President Susan May.

The project’s centerpiece is a $34.8 million public safety training center to be built on leased land at the south end of Outagamie County Regional Airport in Greenville. Other projects include a health simulation and technology center, an expansion of the J.J. Keller Transportation Center and an expansion of the agriculture center expansion at the main campus in Grand Chute.

The college also will buy land next to Oshkosh’s Advanced Manufacturing Center and purchase the leased Chilton Regional Center.

Miron Construction Co. Inc. will serve as project manager.

In a separate project, FVTC broke ground in April for its new Jones Dairy Farm Culinary Theatre at the Appleton Campus. The new 8,000-square-foot theatre will provide 126 seats for panoramic view training with multi-media capabilities. FVTC is the state’s largest training provider of chefs and food service professionals. The facility will also be available for public use. The project is being paid for by private donations from industry partners.

Sargento to spend $12 million to expand Hilbert facility

Sargento Foods Inc. is investing $12 million in its Hilbert location to expand its production space.

The 30,000-square-feet of additional space will be used for the company’s growing sauce business. The space will be ready for production by January.

Sargento officials estimate the expansion will create up to 50 new jobs within the next five years at the plant.

Associated Banc-Corp heads to downtown Green Bay

Associated Banc-Corp will consolidate six offices into its new downtown Green Bay headquarters over the next year.

More than 350 employees will move into the Regency Center office building at 333 Main St. starting this summer with everyone relocated by next spring. Associated will spend between $4 million and $6 million to renovate the six-floor building’s interior.

“Our roots are in downtown. We ought to be headquartered in downtown Green Bay,” says Associated Bank President and CEO Philip Flynn.

Brown County incubator reaches new milestone

The Advance Business & Manufacturing Center has its highest occupancy rate since moving to its current facility on the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College campus in 2005.

Advance, the economic development arm of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, and a handful of tenant companies moved into their new 50,000-square-foot incubator facility seven years ago and now has a current occupancy rate of 63 percent. Half of its industrial bays are full and 95 percent of its 42 individual offices are occupied.

Thirty-seven companies and 88.5 positions are housed in the Advance Business & Manufacturing Center.

The numbers were achieved despite the graduation of two maturing tenant companies. SRC Technologies relocated with its 15 employees to the SMET construction building along the Hwy. 41 frontage road. The Solberg Company built its own facility in Howard.

Fox Cities Chamber changes up annual business expo

The Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce is combining its annual business awards program with its business expo during a June 6 event at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton.

The expo will run immediately after the awards program from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.

For more information on the event, visit www.foxcitieschamber.com.



Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Sheboygan County looking for new top economic leader

The Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation is looking for a new leader after executive director Patrick Drinan accepted a regional account manager position with the new Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Drinan was at the SCEDC for more than two years, leading business retention, expansion, and attraction activities. Drinan was the organization’s first executive director.

“I have enjoyed the challenges related to establishing and growing a new organization, and have been impressed with the strong private and public leadership within the county, including those serving on the SCEDC Board of Directors,” Drinan says.



Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

Marinette Marine gets contract for two more LCS

The U.S. Navy has issued a Lockheed Martin-led industry team a $715 million contract modification

to add funding for construction of two Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) – the third and fourth in a 10-ship contract awarded in December 2010. The ships will be built at Marinette Marine Corp.

The Marinette shipyard is currently expanding its indoor production area to accommodate the increased workload. Smet Construction Services Corp. of Green Bay is currently building a new blast building that will be able to hold two production lines.

BelGioioso Cheese expands near Pulaski

The Green Bay-based BelGioioso Cheese will build a new facility next to its factory near Pulaski. The project is estimated at $15 million and will double the workforce at the current site. The 160,000-square-foot facility will be built north of the current facility in the Town of Chase.

The new plant will produce Italian table cheeses including Parmesan, Romano and Asiago as well as specialty cheeses.



Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

New London Chamber getting new home

The New London Area Chamber of Commerce recently began work on a new home.

Last year, Kwik Trip donated its building at 420 N. Shawano St. to the City of New London, which signed lease agreements with the New London Area Chamber of Commerce and New London Youth Baseball.

While the chamber originally planned to just renovate the property, it was noticed during the assessment that the building would need to be elevated. The chamber then decided to demolish the top portion of the building and reconstruct it.

Christian Builders, a chamber member, is working on the project.

In addition to housing the chamber offices, there are plans for an educational/training and visitor center.

New London Youth Baseball is building a 500-foot concession stand bumped into the interior of the building facing Pfeifer Park. There are also plans to build a covered deck.


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