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

Washington County SRP Receives 2017 Planning Excellence Award from the APA Wisconsin Chapter

The Washington County Site Redevelopment Program has been selected to receive the 2017 Planning Excellence Award from the American Planning Association – Wisconsin Chapter for Plan Implementation. Since 2012, Washington County has been proactively working to evaluate, assess and plan for the redevelopment of idle or underutilized sites.
Regarding the award to the Site Redevelopment Program, the American Planning Association Wisconsin Chapter jury commented, “This program and its implementation is the result of an impressive coalition of multiple communities and agencies working together to achieve common goals. The prioritization strategy helps leverage various funding sources and sets the stage for long-term reinvestment.”
In 2013, Washington County formed a Redevelopment Coalition with the City of Hartford, City of West Bend, Village of Jackson, Village of Richfield and Village of Slinger and has received $1.2 million in USEPA Community-wide Coalition Brownfield Assessment Grants to perform Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments, complete remedial action plans, engage in redevelopment planning and perform community outreach and education.
A Site Redevelopment Committee (SRC) leads the coalition and is made up of ten representatives from the County Board, City/Village Administrators, City Planners, County Workforce Development, Economic Development Organization, and a commercial real estate professional. Program support is provided by a Project Management Team including Debora Sielski, Deputy Planning and Parks Administrator for Washington County and Project Manager of the Site Redevelopment Program, David Holmes, Senior Environmental Scientist for Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., Jolena Presti, Principal Planner for Vandewalle & Assoc. and Christian Tscheschlok, Executive Director for Economic Development Washington County.
The Site Redevelopment Program has had exceptional results to date including the completion of a county-wide potential redevelopment site inventory, environmental site assessments, successful leveraging of fiscal resources to provide the best opportunities for redevelopment, empowering decision makers by creating an online redevelopment analysis tool and connecting potential businesses and other end-users with redevelopment sites.
The Program was designed to provide an integrated multidisciplinary approach to supporting the redevelopment of former commercial, industrial, and other vacant or underutilized properties sometimes referred to as “brownfields.” The integrated approach combines planning, economic development, and environmental assessment/remediation expertise in evaluating and prioritizing sites for funding, identifying and quantifying environmental and other liabilities, creating integrated remediation/reuse plans, and advancing sites to redevelopment or a “shovel ready” status.
When asked about the role of planners in the Site Redevelopment Program, Rick Gundrum, County Board Chairperson said, “Since 2013, our program has had a proven record demonstrating the types of successes that are possible when professional planners work to maximize resources and take a regional approach to problem solving. It is imminently clear that the success of our work was driven by collective buy-in achieved through a process and approach that would not have emerged without the commitment from professional planners.”
The award will be celebrated at the annual conference of the American Planning Association Wisconsin Chapter on October 27th at the Hilton City Center in Milwaukee.

Discount Ramps HQ move adds second project to Germantown business park

Online retailer Discount Ramps could move 50 employees and its headquarters from West Bend to a new business park in Germantown.

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Quad/Graphics inks new $450 million printing contract with Bluestem Brands

Quad/Grahics Inc. said it has signed a new multi-year contract valued more than $450 million to print all catalogs for e-commerce retailer Bluestem Brands Inc.

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Delta Defense Receives Top State Award for Economic Development Project

Madison, Wis. – September 13, 2017 – Delta Defense LLC, based in West Bend, Wis. and nominated by the City of West Bend, received a Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) Award at the 3rd annual Community and Economic Development Awards banquet, held September 13, 2017, at The Edgewater Hotel in Madison.

This award recognizes efforts in which a community successfully mobilized to retain and/or expand a business. Winning projects demonstrate extensive cross-community collaboration and the ability to adapt and respond quickly to unforeseen events within the last three years.

“Delta Defense could have located their world headquarters anywhere in the United States. We are proud they chose West Bend, and we feel fortunate they continue to grow here,” said West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow. “They have proven to be an inspiration to their customers and employees and are a positive influence to dozens of organizations and efforts in our city. Quite simply, they make West Bend a better place to live.”

Delta Defense President and CEO Tim Schmidt said, “It’s truly humbling to be recognized for this award, but it’s something really special to know that our company has a thriving community to call home. We are grateful to have worked with our friends at the City of West Bend and Washington County to make this all possible and can’t wait for what the future holds.”

Through collaboration between Delta Defense LLC, City of West Bend, Economic Development Washington County and Wisconsin Economic Development Cooperation, a company that started at a kitchen table in West Bend could elevate to one of the fastest growing associations in the nation—the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA). Delta Defense LLC is a top employer in West Bend, pledging to reach 190 employees by 2020. This summer they moved into a new 60,000 sq.-ft. headquarters on West Bend’s WEDC Certified Site.

Christian Tscheschlok, Executive Director for Economic Development Washington County (EDWC), said, “We are very grateful to Delta Defense for recognizing that their success represents an opportunity for the city and county to join forces in not only supporting this project, but repurposing their former building downtown to seed the next level of growth for yet another local company Epic Creative.”

The Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) and its partner organizations developed the Community and Economic Development Awards program to recognize best practices and economic development-focused businesses and organizations that are making their community or region a better place to live, work and play.

“WEDA is excited that our Community and Economic Development Awards program is able to celebrate the dedicated efforts of local, county, regional, state and private organizations in advancing our state’s economy,” said WEDA President Ed White.

Seven awards were given in six categories: Business Retention and Expansion; Economic Driver (Large and Small); Human Capital; Real Estate Development and Reuse; Economic Development Initiative; and Public-Private Partnership.

To implement the awards program, WEDA partners with the Wisconsin League of Municipalities, Wisconsin Counties Association and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Award sponsors are Alliant Energy, Bachmann Construction, J H Findorff & Son, Green Bay Packers, Madison Gas & Electric, US Bank, Insight Publications, American Transmission Company, Wisconsin Public Service and Xcel Energy.

Assembly committee recommends $3 billion Foxconn bill

A state Assembly committee approved a $3 billion tax incentive package Monday for Taiwan-based Foxconn, the first vote in what could be an intense month of legislative action to quickly pass the massive deal that could bring a $10 billion plant to southeastern Wisconsin.

According to TODAY’S TMJ4, the Republican-controlled Assembly’s Jobs and Economy Committee voted 8-5 along party lines to send the bill to the full Assembly, which plans to take it up Thursday. Republican-authored tweaks were approved…

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Fed bumps rates again

Plans to start reducing securities holdings this year.

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Foxconn, assembler of iPhones, eyes Wisconsin for plant

A Taiwanese company that assembles Apple’s iPhones and other electronics is considering building a plant in Wisconsin that could employ thousands of people.

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Austrian manufacturer establishing plant in West Bend

Alpla Inc. acquires Gehl Foods bottling operation.

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Gehl Foods expansion in Germantown could add 30 jobs

Company seeking to add 10 new silos to Main Street plant.

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Erin Hills ‘an absolute American original’ worthy of U.S. Open: USGA leaders – Slideshow

Top officials with the U.S. Open Championship heaped praise on Erin Hills and its worthiness as the soon-to-be center of the golf universe. Check out the attached slideshow to see photos of the course as crews prepare for the upcoming major event.

The occasion Wednesday was a press conference for sports and news media from Wisconsin and Illinois as well as national golf media. That was followed by a golf outing for media representatives and local sports celebrities, including Milwaukee Bucks coach…

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Fox Bros. Piggly Wiggly adopts employee ownership plan

Fox Bros. Piggly Wiggly is adopting an ESOP in part to attract workers and stay competitive.

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Trump proposes dramatic tax cuts for companies big and small

President Donald Trump proposed dramatic tax cuts Wednesday in an overhaul his administration says will spur economic growth.

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Maysteel acquired by private equity firm

Metal cabinet manufacturer changes hands.

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Major changes coming to how credit scores are calculated

The math behind your credit score is getting an overhaul.

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Grants available for companies entering, expanding in export markets

In November 2015, the Milwaukee 7 Regional Economic Development Partnership launched the Export Development Grant Program presented by JPMorgan Chase. The program provides financial assistance to small and medium enterprises, both those new to exporting

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WiRED, Phelan plan $13.6 million West Bend development

West Bend officials decided to partner with two Milwaukee developers to build 96 apartments and commercial space on a former manufacturing site near the city’s downtown.

The project would cover 8 acres the city owns at East Water Street and South Forest Avenue. That land formerly was Gehl Co.’s headquarters and manufacturing facility.

The proposal for the land from WiRED Properties and Phelan Development features five total buildings, including a trio of three-story apartment buildings along…

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State’s unemployment rate dips under 4 percent

Wisconsin economy added 5,800 private sector jobs in January.

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Top Workplaces 2016: Courting Millennials

Without question, millennials are the future of the U.S. workforce, which became increasingly evident as we assembled this, our seventh annual Top Workplaces special edition.

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Wisconsin ranks well in U.S. News & World Report’s inaugural ‘Best States’ list

The new ranking published by U.S. News and World Report places the state of Wisconsin a respectable 16th on its first “Best States” list.

The ranking measures how citizens experience their state, based on more than 10,000 data points and 68 different metrics. Wisconsin’s highest ranks among seven categories were fifth for government and 10th for crime and corrections. Government ranks states on transparency, integrity, fiscal stability and their use of digital technology in serving residents, and…

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West Bend insurance revives heart-strings approach to ‘Silver Lining’

Executives at West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. decided it was time to resume tugging at the heart strings of broadcast audiences in the latest installment of the company’s “The Silver Lining” advertising campaigns.

The West Bend-based insurer is launching two television commercials aimed at consumers and two for small businesses with a total budget of “a little over $5 million” this year, Jim Schwalen, vice president of personal lines and marketing, said in an interview Monday. The company…

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Economic Development Tax Incentives: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?

Indiana recently announced it would provide United Technologies Corp. with $7 million in tax incentives over 10 years to encourage the company’s Carrier Corp. unit to keep about 1,000 jobs in the state. This Q&A with Josh Goodman of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ states’ fiscal health team explains what economic development tax incentives are, why they matter, and how…

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Wisconsin’s state-local tax burden declined to 16th highest in U.S.

New information released by the U.S. Census Bureau indicates Wisconsin’s state-local tax burden declined from 15th highest among the states in 2013 to 16th for 2014, according to the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), a public policy research group in Madison.

Wisconsin taxes dropped from 10.9 percent of personal income in 2013 to 10.8 percent in 2014, figures showed.

Nationally, taxes relative to income jumped from 10.4 percent in 2013 to 10.6 percent in 2014. Census figures regularly lag…

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As Trump takes aim at unions, labor’s clout continues to sag in Wisconsin

Labor unions have been among the most vocal critics of Donald Trump and his expanding team of economic advisers, sounding warnings over the president-elect’s positions on a range of issues and promising to stymie his policy agenda when warranted.

Those comments, however, come as federal data indicate that the influence of labor unions — at least when it comes to membership — is waning. A recent analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that union membership as a percentage of the entire…

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Manufacturing lags behind state job growth

Industry employment down 2,400 from June 2015 to 2016.

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Milwaukee Biz Blog: Trump trade war could trigger job losses

A recession would be an ugly way to start a presidency.

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​Community investment a critical component of a growing economy

Improving Wisconsin’s economic health relies heavily on thoughtful and deliberate community development throughout the state.

Investing in individual communities has proven to have an enormous impact on business growth, job creation and economic revitalization in states across the United States.

Local officials and groups all over Wisconsin are well aware of this impact, and are working together to fund and support community development projects of all sizes to strengthen the state’s foundation…

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Women on Wisconsin corporate boards increasing

About one in six members of corporate boards at Wisconsin’s biggest public companies is a woman, a new report shows.

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Global markets create new opportunities for Wisconsin businesses

For many businesses, exporting is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity. Here’s how some companies are navigating international markets.

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Where States Get Their Money

Taxes and federal funds together account for more than three-quarters of the 50 states’ revenue dollars. In all but two states taxes are the largest revenue source, while federal funds are the second largest. Following is a breakdown of each state’s major categories of revenue, with percentages shown for taxes and federal funds.

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WOW counties receive IT training grant

$4 million will be used to train more than 450 people.

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Mason Wells acquires MGS Mfg. Group

Founder sells Germantown plastics manufacturing supplier

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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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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.

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.

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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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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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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EDWC. BUSINESS-READY. LIFE-READY.

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2151 North Main Street | West Bend, WI | 53090 | 262-335-5769 | Fax: 262-335-5943 | [email protected]