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.
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.
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
With three driver industries already in place, new industries are steadily becoming increasingly more prevalent and successful in Washington County. These industries are:
- Renewable Energy/Power Systems