Plant news

Posted on Nov 12, 2019 :: Plant News
Posted by , Insight on Manufacturing Staff Writer

LaClare Creamery completes $10 million expansion project

LaClare Family Creamery announced the completion of a $10 million expansion that will make it a national leader in Chevre cheese production.

The creamery, established in 1979, essentially doubles its operational footprint with the 28,000-square-foot addition. The bolstered capacity will put the focus squarely on the increasingly popular Chevre, a soft goat milk cheese, said Bill Ritcey, vice president of sales.

“The growing desire for dairy goat products in the U.S. combined with the ability of this particular region to meet that demand makes us uniquely positioned to satisfy consumers,” he said.

The project includes investments in French cheese presses, packaging equipment, specialized air-handling equipment and other technology. The expansion also increases LaClare’s cold storage and maintenance capacities and will allow LaClare to produce Chevre in various sizes for both the retail and food service markets.

Last year, LaClare teamed up with fellow Wisconsin artisanal cheesemaker Saxon Creamery and Italian creamery Lamagna Cheese of Verona, Pa., to form Mosaic Meadows, a partnership that will allow each operation to sell, service and market nationwide.

LTC receives $2 million grant to help low-income students

The United States Department of Education awarded Lakeshore Technical College a $2.06 million competitive grant under the Title III Strengthening Institutions program. It’s focused on high-demand, high-wage programs, including those in advanced manufacturing, which are among the highest in demand locally.

This grant program provides funding to higher education institutions so they can expand and strengthen their capacity to serve low-income students. The funds are payable over five years.

LTC plans to invest the grant funds in the development of competency-based learning formats, the deployment of additional student support services and the implementation of a holistic student support system.

Competency-based learning provides students with a high degree of flexibility with their schedules and lets them obtain college credit for skills already mastered, allowing them to earn their degrees faster. It also allows students to learn at their own pace by progressing after having proven specific job competencies and choose for themselves the best times to learn on campus.

Additional support services will help each student, including those who are low-income, of color or with disabilities, reach their goal of a college degree and a career. A holistic student support system will focus on student advisers taking new approaches to helping students overcome the challenges they face while working toward obtaining their education and career goals.

Wisconsin Supplier Network to connect buyers, suppliers

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. launched the Wisconsin Supplier Network to connect suppliers and buyers.

The network takes the place of the Supply Chain Marketplace, which was created by New North Inc. That initiative was intended to support supplier diversification by developing supplier resiliency to help offset the cyclical nature of national defense spending.

Due to the tremendous positive response and desire to offer the directory on a statewide scale, New North and WEDC worked together to expand the platform to support all regions in assisting supplier and buyer connections while helping diversify new growth in key driver and emerging industry sectors.

The site is a free online directory of suppliers and services and a communications platform that provides regular newsletters and alerts to promote new business opportunities, supplier development resources and industry networking initiatives.

The new site features several improvements, including better-quality data, easier user interface and integration with third-party platforms, such as those of original equipment manufacturers to streamline supplier evaluation to facilitate procurement. In addition, WSN will be a key asset in assisting business attraction, expansion and retention efforts. WEDC will also leverage WSN in industry cluster development. Businesses can create a free profile at

Construction of USS Nantucket begins at Marinette Marine

Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine marked the beginning of construction on Littoral Combat Ship 27, the future USS Nantucket, with a ceremony in Marinette.

As part of a shipbuilding tradition dating back centuries, a shipyard worker welded the initials of Polly Spencer, USS Nantucket ship sponsor and wife of U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, into the ship’s keel plate. This plate will be affixed to the ship and travel with Nantucket throughout its commissioned life.

“The USS Nantucket will confront many complex challenges,” said Richard V. Spencer. “It will confront humanitarian relief all the way to great power competition, drawing on the strength of every weld, every rivet applied by the great people here.”

LCS 27 is the first Navy ship to be named after Nantucket, Mass., in more than 150 years. Nantucket has a deep connection to sailing and maritime traditions, serving as a whaling hub in the 1800s and as the home of generations of American sailors since the town’s beginning. The previous USS Nantucket, the first to be named after the island, was commissioned in 1862 to serve during the American Civil War.

The vessel will be the 14th Freedom-variant LCS and will join a class of more than 30 ships. It is one of six ships in various stages of construction and testing at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard.

Greater Green Bay Chamber honors manufacturing excellence

The Greater Green Bay Chamber recently awarded its 2019 Manufacturing Awards of Distinction. The winners were:

• Large company: KI, Green Bay

• Medium company: Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats, Wittenberg

• Small company: Evergreen Tool Co. Inc., Peshtigo

• Workforce development: Badger Sheet Metal Works, Green Bay

• Environmental sustainability: Georgia-Pacific, Green Bay

• Innovation: Green Bay Packaging, Green Bay

• Growth: Salm Partners LLC, Denmark

“All manufacturers are crucial to the economy, especially in the state of Wisconsin. But our award recipients are examples of excellence within the industry,” said Laurie Radke, president and CEO of the Greater Green Bay Chamber. “It is our honor to host this annual event, now in its 20th year, and to shed light on why manufacturing matters.”