UP FRONT: Regional roundup – February 2013

Posted on Feb 4, 2013 :: Up Front
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

FVTC unveils culinary theatre

Fox Valley Technical College recently opened the Jones Dairy Farm Culinary Theatre. The 8,500-square-foot facility features panoramic vantage points for cooking demonstrations and food preparation narrations for enhanced student learning. FVTC is the state’s largest training provider of culinary arts.

The $1.8 million facility was funded in part by private donations, including a gift from Jones Dairy Farm. The theater accommodates 120 people and has the latest in high-tech kitchen equipment.

The facility is also open for public use and for people who wish to take non-credit cooking classes.



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

Nsight raises $90 million to fund growth projects

Nsight, the parent company of Cellcom and Nsight Teleservices, has raised $90 million through debt and equity capital to fund several growth projects, company leaders say.

The Green Bay telecom firm plans to use the cash to: accelerate the build-out of its 4G LTE network in its Wisconsin operating territory; expand the company’s fiber network to serve more customers; and expand the company’s network of cell towers to better serve carriers and customers throughout Cellcom’s territory.

“We’re tremendously excited about these new initiatives, which will significantly enhance our position in the market and the reach and sophistication of our network,” says Patrick Riordan, Nsight’s president and CEO.

Nsight also plans to offer a share buyback program to shareholders.

The debt capital is being provided by CoBank, and ACB and Tailwind Capital are providing the equity capital.


Neenah downtown development cancelled

A planned retail and office complex in downtown Neenah on the former Glatfelter paper plant site is off the table.

Developers Terry Bomier and Steve Winter, working as BTS Properties, recently withdrew their development agreement with the city to build a complex valued between $3 million and $4 million, saying the project was no longer viable.

The City of Neenah spent $400,000 to purchase and clear some properties and borrowed another $350,000 to help support the project. Those borrowed dollars will be worked into an agreement for future site developments, city leaders say.


Gulfstream expands airport operations

The Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. facility located at the Outagamie County Regional Airport in Greenville is about to get busier.

The company is gearing up to increase production on a new large-cabin aircraft and plans to hire about 100 additional workers over the next few months to fill the orders. The new jobs range from engineering to materials handling.

Gulfstream’s Greenville site designs the aircraft cabin layout and also handles the installation of seats, furniture, carpet, communication and entertainment systems, the galley and the bathroom fixtures.

Gulfstream, which currently employs 725 people in Greenville, is the airport’s largest tenant.


C.A. Lawton forms joint venture with Centerline

The C.A. Lawton Co. and Centerline Machining & Grinding Inc. have formed a joint venture combining assets and allowing both companies to better serve their customers.

Now known as Centerline Machining & Grinding LLC, the company consists of Centerline’s assets and operations and contributions of capital and equipment from C.A. Lawton.

Alex Lawton, CEO of C.A. Lawton, says the move allows the companies to market the capabilities of both businesses to their distinctive sets of existing customers, as well as plan and invest together in new projects and capabilities. The joint venture increases the customer base and market reach for both companies, he adds.

C.A. Lawton is located in De Pere and is a manufacturer of industrial components. It employs about 150 workers. Located in Hobart, Centerline is a state-of-the-art machine shop and employs about 20 workers.


Allouez seeking applicants for awards

The Allouez Business Association (ABA) is accepting nominations for the 2013 Excellence in Business Awards. The organization wants to recognize small and large businesses in Allouez that add economic value to the community.

Businesses do not need to be ABA members to participate and can self-nominate. Submit applications by the end of the month to www.allouezbusiness.com. The 2013 winners will be recognized Tuesday, March 26 at an event at the Village Grille in Allouez.


Port of Green Bay leads 20-year master plan

The Port of Green Bay is leading the state in developing a 20-year master plan for all of Wisconsin’s ports, according to the Brown County Port of Green Bay’s Port n’ News.

The Wisconsin Commercial Ports Association is proposing a master plan development for all commercial ports in two phases: First, a comprehensive inventory of ports along with an analysis of port interaction with other forms of freight movement. That would be followed by recommendations for changes to the transportation system for the most efficient movement of materials. Second, the plan would take a more advanced look at port planning and development efforts into the larger transportation and economic development efforts statewide.

Staff at Brown County Port and Solid Waste will be writing grant applications and exploring other resources to launch phase I of the master plan. Organizations and agencies interested in getting involved can contact the port at [email protected]


Menasha Packaging buys East Coast company

Menasha Packaging’s purchase of Rand Diversified of Edison, N.J., provides the Neenah company with a location for East Coast fulfillment and contract packaging, company leaders say.

The distinct capabilities of Rand and Menasha Packaging will strengthen the combined company’s position with customers, says Mike Waite, president of Menasha Packaging. Rand’s focus on contract packaging and extensive experience with the Food & Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration fit well with Menasha Packaging’s focus on the food, household and personal care markets and the comprehensive design, manufacturing, fulfillment and logistics services it provides to customers.

“Customers continue to value partnerships where Menasha Packaging can manage the entire design through manufacturing through fulfillment process. Adding Rand’s expertise will help us respond to this growing demand,” Waite says.

With the acquisition, Menasha Packaging will have 16 fulfillment operations in eight states.

The sale price was not disclosed.



Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Schutt Industries receives $35 million in contracts

Schutt Industries of Clintonville recently received three large military contracts, potentially totaling more than $35 million.

The contracts are for a Marine Corps Tactical Weld Shop, the M1061A1 trailer for the U.S. Tank Automotive Command and additional hook lift trucks, trailers and flat tracks for the U.S. Army.



Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

College of Menominee Nation receives USDA funds

The College of Menominee Nation in Keshena received $400,000 in funding as part of almost $17 million in grants to tribal colleges and universities from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The funds are targeted to support research, education and extension activities to support schools in American Indian communities.

The College of Menominee Nation will use its funds to look at organic agriculture and research related to forestry.


Marinette manufacturer gets new name

One of the area’s largest employers, piston manufacturer Karl Schmidt Unisia, has changed its name to KS Kolbenschmidt US Inc.

The company employs about 900 at its Marinette facility that manufactures steel and aluminum pistons for a wide range of diesel and automotive customers.

The name change better aligns the local operations with the business’s global operations, company leaders say.



Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Manitowoc co-op merges with two others

Members of the Manitowoc Milk Producers Cooperative and two other Wisconsin dairy organizations voted to merge, creating one of the largest dairy marketing cooperatives in the Midwest.

The new FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, headquartered in Madison, is made up of members from the Manitowoc organization, Family Dairies USA and Milwaukee Cooperative Milk Producers.

The new cooperative is divided into nine districts. Dennis Donohue, who was general manager of Manitowoc Milk Producers Cooperative, will assume the role of general manager.


Rail line to reconnect Plymouth, Kohler

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is providing more than $17 million to fund the 11-mile rail restoration project between Plymouth and Kohler.

The DOT hopes to complete the project by the end of 2014.

The entire project costs $19.1 million with remaining funds from the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad, the cities of Plymouth and Sheboygan Falls, Sheboygan County, Bemis Manufacturing, Kettle Lakes Co-op, King Structures and Morrelle Transfer & Warehouse.

Gary Dulmes, chairman of the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation, says the project is good news for the area.

“This project is fantastic for Sheboygan County as it not only creates new jobs but also offers an additional transportation alternative for local businesses,” he says.

This project is the first freight rail line that has been restored in the State of Wisconsin.


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