Washington County Profile

There are many factors that go into making a county a great place to do business, ranging from demographics to good infrastructure. Here’s a snapshot of what Washington County has to offer your growth project.

Demographics and Workforce

Since 2000, the population of Washington County has grown almost four times as fast as the rest of the Milwaukee MSA and more than twice as fast as the state’s growth rate. Along with the rapidly growing population, Washington County’s labor force has grown 0.98% from 2005 to 2012, which is lower compared to the state overall.

Why Southeast Wisconsin

There are many reasons why Wisconsin is a great place to do business, including:

  • Wisconsin’s business taxes are among the lowest in the country due to property tax exemptions for manufacturing machinery and equipment, computers and computer equipment, inventories and pollution-control equipment.
  • Wisconsin provides tax credits for energy used in manufacturing and for R&D expenditures.
  • Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation rates for most industries consistently rank among the lowest in the country.
  • Wisconsin electric rates are among the lowest in the country; commercial and industrial water and sewer rates are also among the lowest in the nation.

In addition to the many benefits at the state level that make Wisconsin a smart choice to do business, the Milwaukee region also has great benefits with the backing of seven counties. Through the activities of our regional partner organization (Milwaukee 7), the region generated 8,100 new jobs and an increase of $600 million in capital investment.

Major Employers

Industry leaders, both small and large, national and international, do business in Washington County. The top major non-retail employers in Washington County are:

NAICS Code Rank Employer Name NAICS Title Number of Employees
323110 1 Quad/Graphics Inc Commercial lithographic printing 1000+ employees
326199 2 MGS Manufacturing Group All other plastics product manufacturing 1000+ employees
524126 3 West Bend Mutual Insurance Direct property & casualty insurers 1000+ employees
335211 4 Broan-Nutone LLC Electric housewares & household fan mfg. 500-999 employees
331512 5 Signicast LLC Steel investment foundries 500-999 employees
621111 6 Cedar Community Offices of physicians (Exc mental health specs) 500-999 employees
339112 7 Serigraph Inc Commercial screen printing 500-999 employees
335129 8 J W Speaker Corp Other lighting equipment manufacturing 500-999 employees
335221 9 Regal Ware Inc Cookware manufacturer 500-999 employees
622110 10 Aurora Medical Ctr General medical & surgical hospitals 500-999 employees
622110 11 St Joseph’s Hospital General medical & surgical hospitals 250-499 employees
311422 12 Gehl Foods Food product manufacturer 250-499 employees


Businesses need to be able to ship and receive with ease, which is only possible when you have direct access to railways, major highways and an airport.


Companies in Washington County have access to freight rail services on lines that are serviced by both Canadian National Railway and Wisconsin and Southern Railroad Company.


On April 9, 2015, US 41 was officially added to the Interstate System as I-41.  Wisconsin’s newest Interstate route runs concurrently with US 41 for the entire route.  I-41 begins at the I-94/US 41 interchange located about one mile south of the Wisconsin/Illinois border.  It follows I-94 north to the Mitchell Interchange, I-894 and US 45 around Milwaukee and then joins US 41 north to Green Bay where it ends at the I-43 Interchange.


US Highway 45, along with US 41, connects Washington County to the Fox Valley (Appleton/Oshkosh/Fond du Lac) and Milwaukee markets and nine state highways that connect the county to the rest of the state.


Washington County boasts of two municipal airports (West Bend and Hartford) and is also in close proximity to General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, which has 200+ flights daily.

Port of Milwaukee

Washington County is just over 30 minutes from the Port of Milwaukee and is also a part of Foreign Trade Zone #41, which allows businesses within the County to take advantage of special benefits that both streamline and reduce costs associated with import / export activity.

Driver Industries

Three industries already have a strong foothold in the County and are driving the economy with their business. These industries are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Food and Beverage/Agribusiness
  • Printing and Publishing

Emerging Industries

With three driver industries already in place, new industries are steadily becoming increasingly more prevalent and successful in Washington County. These industries are:

  • Bio-Medical
  • Renewable Energy/Power Systems

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