BUSINESS-READY. LIFE-READY.

Washington County’s quality of life, abundant workforce and proximity to the Milwaukee market make it one of the best areas in the state to live your life and grow your business.

There are many reasons why Washington County is a great place to expand and relocate, but here are just a few:

  • A population that’s growing more than twice as fast as the state’s population growth rate
  • An excellent education system that touts a high school graduation rate that’s higher than both the state and country as a whole
  • A median household income that exceeds the state and national averages

Don’t just take our word for it.  Check out some of our latest project profiles to find out why companies are choosing to locate and grow in Washington County: EDWC Project Profiles.

 

News Feed

JPMorgan Chase Pledges Additional $200,000 to Expand the M7 Export Development Grant Program to More Companies

In a continuing effort to grow exports in the region, The Milwaukee 7 Regional Economic Development Partnership (M7) launched the Export Development Grant Program presented by JPMorgan Chase last November with an initial award of $200,000. The highly-successful program provides financial assistance to small and medium enterprises, both new to export as well as experienced exporters, to enter into new or grow existing international markets. In just 6 months, 34 companies have been awarded grants each ranging from $1,250 to $5,000. JPMorgan Chase announced this week that they are providing an additional $200,000 to the Milwaukee 7 to continue the program across the region.

“The Milwaukee 7 Export Development Grant Program is a wonderful example of how the Global Cities Initiative can provide value to the regional economy,” said Jim Popp, managing director for Chase Middle Market Banking in Wisconsin. “M7 has effectively marketed the program and companies have stepped up enthusiastically to explore or expand their exporting efforts. Providing additional funds is a win-win for all of us.”

“Increasing the number of companies in the region that export is a huge opportunity for Southeast Wisconsin,” said Gale Klappa, chairman, president and CEO of WEC Energy Group. “We know that the majority of economic growth comes from companies already located in the region and through exporting, businesses can grow faster and sustain that growth.”
The Export Development Grant Program provides matching funds of up to $5,000 per company. The funding can be used for a multitude of export-related purposes and may also be combined with grants offered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Companies are asked to provide a narrative explaining how the funding will help grow exports. Any and all uses of the funds used to grow a company’s international presence will be considered.

Two waves of applications have been reviewed by the Grant Committee and a total of 34 companies were approved for various projects. “The majority of the award winners will travel to international tradeshows or trade missions to meet with prospective partners and customers,” explained Chad Hoffman, M7 export development manager. “In addition, many companies will also be utilizing the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key matchmaking service in conjunction with the tradeshows to make the most of the trip abroad. Another resource that companies identified is ExporTechTM, a very beneficial program to assist companies in developing a strategic plan to grow exports.”

According to Hoffman there is plenty of room for growth for the region’s exporters. Southeastern Wisconsin’s economy produces just under $100 billion in total economic output with only 16% resulting from exports. Furthermore, 40% of the region’s exports are to Canada and Mexico, which represent just 4.2% of global GDP. Nationwide, according to the International Trade Administration, 58% of small- and medium-sized exporters only sold into a single international market in 2012. “Our goal is identify companies who are not exporting to their full potential and help them enter new markets,” explained Hoffman. “Navigating the available programs can be daunting, however, we are committed to providing companies with the most appropriate information for their current situation. The Export Development Grant Program is another tool to help grow the region’s exports.”

The 34 companies come from a variety of industries and include manufacturers and service providers alike. The additional $200,000 in grant funding provided by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation will allow the program to continue into the foreseeable future.

To apply for the Export Development Grant Program or for additional information and eligibility requirements, companies can start the process by visiting the program website: http://mke7.com/exporting. The 3rd round of applications are now being accepted through June 30, 2016 and funding is made available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Milwaukee 7, launched in September 2005, was formed to create a regional, cooperative economic development platform for the seven counties of southeastern Wisconsin: Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha. The Milwaukee 7 continues to build the region’s capacity and accelerate economic growth.

Mason Wells acquires MGS Mfg. Group

Founder sells Germantown plastics manufacturing supplier

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Wisconsin might cut unemployment taxes again

State’s unemployment trust fund has $1 billion balance, Walker says.

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Groups raise concerns about new overtime rules

The Obama administration’s new overtime rules are drawing concern from government and charitable groups in Wisconsin, who say the measure would raise their costs beyond their means to pay.

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Discount Ramps acquires Heavy Duty Ramps

West Bend distributor plans to hire more employees at Kewaskum manufacturer.

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Ansay & Associates acquires Stevens Point agency

Insurance and benefits firm Ansay & Associates has acquired another Wisconsin agency, adding Disher Insurance Services, of Stevens Point, to its network of offices in the state.

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Economic Development Incentives: Best Practices

Economic development incentives play a central role in states’ efforts to create jobs and strengthen their economies. Pew’s research shows how states can ensure that incentives are effective and fiscally sound.

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Message from WEDC

Dear WisconsinBiz Readers, Anyone who works in economic development quickly learns how far-reaching the impact of a single business investment can be. Newly relocated or expanded companies often employ local construction services to build and

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2016 Wisconsin Energy Efficiency Expo

2016 Wisconsin Energy Efficiency Expo

https://waee.wildapricot.org/event-2205850

* Important – while this event is free to attend, pre-registration is encouraged.

The Wisconsin Association of Energy Engineers (WAEE) is pleased once again to invite chapter members and guests to the 2016 Wisconsin Energy Efficiency Expo to be held Wednesday May 18 at West Bend Mutual corporate headquarters.  The exact location is 1900 South 18th Ave, West Bend, WI.   Please join us for continental breakfast at 7:30, educational breakouts starting at 8:30, and special keynote speaker Lt. Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch at 9:45.   Breakouts resume at 11:15 and continue into the afternoon.  Lunch will be provided; there is no cost to attend this event.

Click on Event Program or Breakout Session Time to Access Schedule & Session Options

2016 WEEE Program

8:30 Breakout Session
11:15 Breakout Session
1:30 Breakout Session
2:45 Breakout Session

More information and online registration: Wisconsin Energy Efficiency Expo

Visit http://waee.wildapricot.org/ to learn more about WAEE or to join today!

Best regards,

Craig Bahr
Wisconsin Association of Energy Engineers

First Bank Financial works to retain personal touch as it grows

Keeping a personal touch while steering the company through a big expansion is the workplace and business challenge for First Bank Financial Centre of Oconomowoc. Read more here.

Delta Defense advocates for concealed carry, self protection

Advocating for handgun owners and self-protection training is Tim Schmidt’s passion — as well as his business. Read more here.

Hartford Kmart store to close this summer

Closing part of nationwide Sears Holdings plan.

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Aurora and Anthem join to start a new insurance company

The joint venture is part of an emerging trend for health systems to invest in health insurance companies.

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Broan NuTone invents new mosquito barriers for decks

Company brings Haven Backyard Lighting & Mosquito Repellent System to market.

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Talent Network Group aims to improve the temp experience

Talent Network Group Brookfield Innovation: Temp Mission www.talentnetworkgroup.com Talent Network Group founder Sue Sattler didn’t set out to include temporary workers as part of the services her firm offers, but now she finds herself doing

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March 2016 WEDA Update

As spring comes to our communities and the frost leaves the soil, it is a time when people are eager to break ground. In many cases, you have been working on these projects for most of the winter, but now is the time to implement.  View Original Article >>

Candidates’ claims about Wisconsin’s economy are often untrue

The Wisconsin economy may not be firing on all cylinders, but some of the things being said about the state simply aren’t correct.

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Wisconsin added 8,000 private sector jobs in February

Also, January data revised to show jobs gain in state.

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Focus on Energy Announces 2016 Excellence in Energy Efficiency Award Winners

Fourteen Wisconsin businesses recognized for their outstanding efforts in energy efficiency.

MADISON, WI , March 14, 2016 – Focus on Energy, Wisconsin utilities’ statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, is honoring fourteen Wisconsin companies with a 2016 Excellence in Energy Efficiency Award. In coordination with local utility partners and Focus on Energy staff, these winners have displayed outstanding commitment to energy efficiency practice.

2016 Excellence in Energy Efficiency Award honorees include:

  • Allcast Inc. – Allenton, WI
  • B & B Electric – Eau Claire, WI
  • Heartland Farms – Hancock, WI
  • Kohler Co. – Kohler, WI
  • Didion Milling – Johnson Creek, WI
  • Edgewood College- Madison, WI
  • Milwaukee County – Milwaukee, WI
  • Chippewa Valley Technical College – Energy Education Center – Eau Claire, WI
  • Fox Brothers Piggly Wiggly – Hubertus, WI
  • Expera Specialty Solutions – Kaukauna, WI
  • Oshkosh Defense, LLC – Oshkosh, WI
  • Kinnard Farms – Casco, WI
  • C & M Properties – Eau Claire, WI
  • Kettle Moraine Heating and Air Conditioning – North Prairie, WI

Benefits of the energy efficiency projects implemented by these organizations are much greater than reduced energy consumption and cost savings.  They support technology innovation, job creation, lowered environmental impacts, increased competitiveness and reduced dependence on non-renewable resources.

“Focus on Energy is thrilled to congratulate each of these winners,” said Chad Bulman, Director of Energy Programs for Focus on Energy. “These recognized organizations are making smart energy decisions, lowering operating costs, and making Wisconsin business more competitive.

On-site award presentations are being coordinated with all winning organizations, many in coordination with Earth Day and other sustainability events currently scheduled. Visit Focus on Energy on Facebook throughout the month of April to learn more about each organization and the energy efficiency projects that earned them this honor. https://www.facebook.com/focusonenergy

White House picks Milwaukee for tech job training program

Milwaukee has been picked by the White House to participate in a worker training program focused on preparing people for technology jobs.

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Baird ranks No. 6 in FORTUNE’s tops list

Baird ranks No. 6 on FORTUNE’s 2016 “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.

The company has 16 offices in Wisconsin, including an office in West Bend at 111 N. Main St.

The annual ranking of the top U.S. workplaces is based on employee feedback and workplace attributes.

Baird, an employeeowned international financial services firm that has been recognized on the list for 13 consecutive years, has ranked among the top 25 for the past eight years and the top 10 for three consecutive years, according to a news release.

Baird has increased its employment by 26 percent over the past five years while the U.S. securities industry has grown by 8 percent.

“It is an incredible honor to be selected as one of FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, and we’re thrilled to be recognized in the top 10 for the third consecutive year,” said Steve Booth, Baird president and CEO.

Baird is an international wealth management, capital markets, private equity and asset management firm with offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Established in 1919, Baird has about 3,300 associates.

Steiner Electric Inc. awarded gold medal

Steiner Electric Inc. of West Bend was awarded a gold medal as a Projects of Distinction by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin on Feb. 18 in Wisconsin Dells for its work on the Kerry Ingredients Production addition.

The annual event highlights ABC members’ excellent craftsmanship and dedication to high-quality construction.

API Healthcare benefiting from its sale to GE Healthcare

The Hartford software company is drawing on the resources of one of the world’s largest companies for product development and sales.

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Manufacturing improving for second straight month

Despite headwinds, manufacturing in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois expanded in February, according to the Marquette University Center for Supply Chain Management.

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J.W. Speaker Corp. of Germantown develops motorcycle headlight upgrade

While in the low-beam setting, the new headlight’s electronics calculate how a motorcycle leans into a turn, controlling the light pattern and filling in the dark void left by a traditional headlight.

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WEDC Market Update: International growth opportunities — Turkey

Turkey has long been a commercial crossroads linking East and West, and has evolved from a developing country to one of the world’s newly industrialized economies. U.S. companies have started using the country as a regional hub for business in Central Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. As the economy has grown, many Turkish firms are thriving by increasing quality standards, especially in manufacturing and domestic industries. This increase in quality is leading many firms to seek out top-line…

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Complimentary Labor Shortage Business Forum

Hosted by Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac on Friday, March 11, 2016 between 8-9:30am. See the following flyer for more details: How are YOU Addressing Labor & Talent Shortages Flyer

M7 awards 1st round of export grants

Applications for second round accepted through March 31.

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Plastic Components completes expansion

Project doubles size of Germantown plant.

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Gov. Walker backs bill making WEDC fraud a felony

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he supports a bipartisan bill that makes defrauding the state’s economic development agency a felony. The governor’s comments came on the day an Assembly committee heard testimony on a bill making fraud against the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC), a Class E felony. Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), a sponsor of the WEDC fraud bill, cited recent cases in testifying in support of the bill he sponsored along with Rep. Samantha Kerkman (R-Powers Lake). “Any…

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Washington County Fair Park to build amphitheater

The Washington County Board voted Tuesday to accept a $600,000 donation from West Bend Mutual Insurance for the construction of a new amphitheater stage at Washington County Fair Park.

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Online hunting gear retailer buys office building to expand Slinger headquarters campus

Online hunting clothing and equipment retailer Legendary Whitetails bought a small office building next to its Slinger headquarters to accommodate its steady growth. The online retailer has been hiring about five or six people annually, and earlier this year completed an expansion of its warehouse that also added 3,000 square feet of office space, said president Greg Huffman. The 6-acre company campus on Enterprise Drive was essentially full upon completion of that project, he said. Legendary Whitetails…

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New Milwaukee 7 program targets companies for exports

The Milwaukee 7 Regional Economic Development Partnership said Monday it has received a $200,000 pledge from JPMorgan Chase for a program designed to help companies in the region export their products more widely.

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Work continues to shrink skills gap in Wisconsin

Team Industries Inc., a Kaukauna provider of precision-welded steel pipes, is finishing up a multiphase expansion that includes the addition of 135 jobs, and it has filled those skilled positions through a combination of educational partnerships, company-hosted job fairs and work with a local union. Team Industries president John Panetti said the company also relies on apprenticeships to find and train the highly skilled workers the company needs. The efforts are necessary because of the tough competition…

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Economic Development Incentives: How to Measure Results

Each year, states collectively spend billions of dollars on economic development incentives. Are they worth the price? The answer isn’t always obvious. By asking key questions, states can evaluate incentive programs and provide the evidence policymakers demand.

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Direct marketing firm to sell Regal Ware in China

A century-old cookware manufacturer based in Kewaskum said it will sign a deal next week to sell products through a firm in China that does direct marketing to consumers, like Amway Corp. or Mary Kay Cosmetics in the United States. (View entire article here)

U.S. EPA Brownfields Grant Awarded to Washington County

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that Washington County will receive a Brownfield Assessment grant totaling $600,000.

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WEDA Best Practices: Kerry Inc. Business Expansion

Jackson, WI – $14.5 million expansion of the existing production facility, adding 119,000 square feet and growing employment by approximately 60 new full-time jobs above the 125 persons currently employed there.

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