Wisconsin Business Voice Oct 2015

Page 1

October 2015: Issue 16

Official magazine of Wisconsin’s Chamber

Wisconsin's Image A strong state brand is a powerful economic development tool Page 18

Inside: Regulation without Representation p. 5 Own the Future, an Editorial from Milwaukee Bucks President p. 12 Three Candidates Jockey for High Court Seat p. 28

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In this issue…


Wisconsin's Business Climate Dashboard

From the Editor


Regulation without Representation

What’s in a brand? Just do it. Like a rock. I’m lovin’ it. Escape to Wisconsin. Live like you mean it?


Economic Summit, Take II


Business World


Be Smart about Education

Is it fair to call a tagline or a slogan a brand? How does a brand evolve? The lead story in this edition of Wisconsin Business Voice focuses on Wisconsin’s brand – our image, our legacy and our future. What is Wisconsin’s brand? Who owns it and can we control it? And more importantly, why should businesses care? Read the full article starting on page 18. The Environmental Protection Agency is clearly overstepping their bounds with the latest proposed ozone and power plant rules. The power plant rule alone is estimated to cost Wisconsin employers up to $13.4 billion. That’s nearly double what Wisconsin homeowners and businesses combined spend on energy costs annually. Read Scott Manley’s column on page 5 to see what it will cost your business. The number of motor vehicle deaths so far in Wisconsin this year is staggering, and employers can help do something about it. Read the column from our Wisconsin Safety Council on page 10 to see how you can help keep your employees safe and productive. And finally, Wisconsin is celebrating the manufacturing industry this month to encourage future generations to see manufacturing as a viable career path. As the state with the highest per capita employment in manufacturing, we salute our employers and their employees for all you do. We will continue to work on your behalf, and on behalf of all employers in the state, to make Wisconsin the most competitive state for you to do business.






in Traffic Fatalities 10 Rise JANIE RITTER, WMC/WISCONSIN SAFETY COUNCIL the Future 12 Own PETER FEIGIN, MILWAUKEE BUCKS Federal Labor Law 14 Upending CHRIS READER, WMC Reform 16 Regulatory LUCAS VEBBER, WMC


What Does Wisconsin Mean to You?

Ingredients of Good Economic Policy 24 Basic U.S. SEN. RON JOHNSON is Moving Wisconsin Forward 26 Bicycling CHRIS FORTUNE, SARIS CYCLING GROUP Wisconsin’s Transportation Finance Shortfall 27 Fixing JASON CULOTTA, WMC Candidates Jockey for High Court Seat 28 Three JIM PUGH, WMC Manufacturing Month 32 About A MESSAGE FROM THE STATE PARTNERS Report 34 Legislative REP. DEBRA KOLSTE (D-JANESVILLE) AND SEN. DUEY STROEBEL (R-SAUKVILLE)

Editor, Wisconsin Business Voice kpettersen@wmc.org


Wisconsin Business Voice is published quarterly by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. WMC is Wisconsin’s chamber of commerce, manufacturers’ association, and safety council representing businesses of all sizes and from every sector of the economy. Send address changes to WMC, P.O. Box 352, Madison, WI 53701-0352. WMC's physical address is 501 E. Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53703, (608) 258-3400. This publication is proudly printed on paper made in Wisconsin. Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO Katy Pettersen, Editor (kpettersen@wmc.org) Jane Sutter, Designer (jsutter@wmc.org)

Wisconsin’s Business Climate Dashboard Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO


bout two years ago, I penned a column for this magazine arguing the metrics that matter most when evaluating the state of Wisconsin business are fiscal condition, unemployment rate and business confidence.

But as part of the Future Wisconsin Project – the WMC Foundation’s long-term economic planning initiative – a new dashboard was created by a group of leaders from the business, education and government sectors. The dashboard includes the cost of doing business, the ease of doing business, workforce and government efficiency.

governor now has the power to veto rules promulgated by unelected bureaucrats. Wisconsin also created a process to permit an iron ore mine with the goal of creating desperately needed jobs in northern Wisconsin.

While the company originally interested in mining in the Penokee Hills decided to withdraw its application, the legal framework remains and the largest untapped iron ore deposit in North American isn’t going anyway. The hope is that eventually a company will use the statutory process to permit a mine and create hundreds of family supporting jobs in the process. Going forward, WMC wants to align the differences in the state and federal versions of the Family Medical Leave Act, improve permitting timelines and require legislative approval of the most expensive administrative rules (see page 16).

The intention was to make the state's business climate Workforce: I wrote in this space in April dashboard as simple as possible; more like a that we have made some progress Chevy than a 747. But behind those four in matching workers with major areas will be additional relevant We have made some progress in available jobs, but the measurements, rankings and data from matching workers with available jobs, demographic challenge diverse sources covering things like facing Wisconsin is daunting. infrastructure quality, venture capital but the demographic challenge facing Last month, the Wisconsin investment and educational attainment. Department of Health

Wisconsin is daunting.

On October 20, WMC will host its fourth annual State of Wisconsin Business Event (see page 15 for details), which was created to track our progress in improving Wisconsin’s economic competitiveness. Using the new dashboard, here is a preview of where Wisconsin stands.

Cost of Doing Business: Despite $2 billion in relief since 2011, Wisconsin is still a high tax and fee state. One of WMC’s long-standing goals is to drop Wisconsin out of the “infamous top 10” of the highest taxed states as ranked by the DC-based Tax Foundation.

Of course, taxes aren’t the only major cost of doing business. Energy is the common ingredient in everything manufactured and Wisconsin has the second highest electricity rates in the Midwest. Unfortunately, recent fiats by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) threaten to drive up electricity costs even higher for states like Wisconsin that rely on coal (see page 5). Health care premiums and Worker’s Compensation costs are also rising, according to both WMC’s member surveys and other data. Ease of Doing Business: Wisconsin has enacted more than 100 pro-business laws since 2011 and many of them were designed to lower regulatory burdens. For example, the


Services released data showing Wisconsin is aging faster than most other states. In fact, Wisconsin is one of only 15 states where Baby Boomers outnumber Millennials. Wisconsin has also had negative migration since 2008 and many leaving are our best educated and most skilled. Wisconsin also has a wealth drain of high net worth retirees, which compounds the brain drain.

People are a state’s combined workforce, taxpayers and consumers. The demographic trends show Wisconsin will have fewer of all three unless we can do something to increase birthrates and attract more workers from other states and abroad.

Government Efficiency: Systemic governmental inefficiency is a threat to a state’s business climate because unstable government finances are a tax increase waiting to happen. Just ask Illinois with its looming $100 billion-plus state employee pension fund deficit. Wisconsin has a fully funded pension system, a budget surplus, a record balance in its rainy day fund and the most recent tax collections were above projections. Still, Wisconsin needs to follow the private sector’s emphasis on lean operating principles. Wisconsin, with a population of 5.7 million, has 429 police departments. California, with

38 million people, only has 321. Overall, Wisconsin has 2,379 taxing units of government, including counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts and technical colleges.

Our society celebrates lottery winners, celebrities and professional athletes. We rarely hear inspiring stories of individuals whose lives are transformed through the hard work and perseverance that leads to meaningful employment. By publicly honoring these individuals we inspire others. We promote the programs that offer a helping hand. Perhaps most importantly, we rekindle hope and energize the work ethic by shining a spotlight on successful role models. It’s time for a new kind of hero.

Wisconsin also has an expensive postsecondary education system which includes 13 four-year UW campuses, 13 two-year colleges and 16 technical colleges with 49 total locations. The question is, can taxpayers continue to afford and do enrollments justify that infrastructure?

Many of the challenges outlined above are caused – and therefore must be addressed by – federal policies. Energy, health care and immigration reform are just an example. Despite that, Wisconsin has made progress in improving our business competitiveness. In fact, 91 percent of WMC’s member CEOs said this past summer that Wisconsin is headed in the right direction. I agree, but the transformation remains incomplete and a work in progress. BV

Employee Category Most Inspiring Career Climb

Employer Category Most Inspiring Hand-Up

Apply Today! www.jobhonor.org

Follow Kurt on Twitter @Kurt_R_Bauer

Deadline October 15, 2015

15_0896 WI Bus Voice Mod: August 7, 2015 10:02 AM Print: 08/11/15 11:08:07 AM page 1 v7



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Wisconsin Business Voice


ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION Scott Manley WMC Vice President of Government Relations

Regulation without Representation


he federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued its global warming rule for coal-fired power plants and is expected to finalize another rule this fall establishing stringent new air quality standards for ozone. Together, the two rules will create the perfect storm for widespread job losses in Wisconsin, especially in the manufacturing sector. The sheer cost of these two rules is staggering. Wisconsin’s utility regulators at the Public Service Commission estimated the global warming rule to cost between $3.4 billion and $13.4 billion depending on the available compliance mechanisms. To put those costs into perspective, Wisconsin homeowners and businesses spend a combined $7.3 billion each year on electricity.

cap-and-trade legislation. The 111th Congress rejected this illconsidered policy on a bipartisan basis, thereby denying President Obama a victory on a signature policy issue. But the fact Congress rejected cap-and-trade did not stop the EPA from including it in the final version of its global warming rule. The Obama Administration’s behavior is an act of defiance to the will of the people and the consent of the governed that would make King George III blush.

There are numerous reasons why members of Congress, who are accountable to the voters back home, would never support either of these self-inflicted wounds on our economy. Although the EPA may not care these rules will costs billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, members of Congress typically do.

Although the global warming rule will saddle our job creators with Although the EPA may not care the global warming rule will unprecedented costs, the ozone rule will be even more expensive. ultimately eliminate a tremendous strategic advantage for the U.S. Widely acknowledged as the most expensive federal regulation by cutting ourselves off from our most abundant and ever conceived the ozone rule is expected to affordable source of domestic energy, members cost the U.S. $140 billion each year. of Congress typically do. Most members of Congress In Wisconsin, the rule is expected would not view unilateral economic Although the EPA may not care to cost $10 billion in direct costs, incredibly expensive rule will be and result in a $28 billion loss in disarmament in exchange for reducing its spectacularly ineffective at addressing economic output over two decades. global temperatures by 0.016 degrees global warming, members of Congress The rule’s impact on workers will be typically care about costs versus benefits. equally devastating. The ozone rule is Fahrenheit to be a good trade. Most members of Congress would not view projected to result in more than 23,000 unilateral economic disarmament in exchange for lost job equivalents per year in Wisconsin alone. reducing global temperatures by 0.016 degrees Fahrenheit to be a Our state will be hit particularly hard by these rules because we good trade. Nor would they agree to put thousands of families in have the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs per capita their districts out of work in order to save 0.01 inches in sea level in the country. These jobs rely on affordable and reliable energy rise. as their lifeblood, both of which will be compromised by these But the EPA need not concern itself with such trivialities because it incredibly expensive and misguided regulations. is held to account to no one, least of all voters. The law and policy changes contemplated by these two rules That must change. will result in economic costs measured in billions of dollars and thousands of lost jobs each year. Yet not a single elected official will The short term battle will involve litigating the rules and the have cast a vote to approve either of them. shaky legal foundation they were built upon. That’s our best and only hope of avoiding a disaster waiting to happen with respect to It’s inconceivable our Founding Fathers would ever envision a middle-class manufacturing jobs. situation where the federal government could enact laws causing tens of thousands of workers to lose their job each year without an The longer term battle must involve reining in this type of executive act of Congress. It’s even more outrageous and unbelievable the branch overreach and putting legislators who are accountable to EPA would do so by utilizing a regulatory framework specifically voters back in charge of these policy decisions. BV rejected by Congress. Recall when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid controlled both houses of Congress, a majority of Democrats and Republicans opposed

Follow Scott on Twitter @ManleyWMC Wisconsin Business Voice


BUSINESS & EDUCATION Jim Morgan WMC Foundation President

Economic Summit, Take II O ver three years ago, the WMC Foundation visited more than 50 Wisconsin communities and talked to more than 300 manufacturers. The topic? Talent… or the lack thereof. Eighteen months ago, we went to all 16 technical colleges and reached 1,200 business, government and education leaders to gather their thoughts on what it would take for Wisconsin to be the most competitive state in the nation.

A little over a year ago, the partners – WMC, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Department of Workforce Development, University of Wisconsin System, Wisconsin Technical College System, Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and Department of Public Instruction – came together to launch “The Future Wisconsin Project.” And, 10 months ago, more than 400 people attended the first annual Future Wisconsin Economic Summit. During that time, we identified six critical areas:

• Talent Development, Attraction and Retention • Business Competitiveness • Global Engagement

• Government Effectiveness • Life Quality

• Entrepreneurial Spirit

Highlights will include:

The release of the first annual Wisconsin Competitive Benchmarks – we have identified a series of measures in each of the six categories mentioned above and compared Wisconsin to the other 49 states. Our ranking on each measure, as well as a ranking for each category, will be released. Results of a nationwide perception survey of Wisconsin and data on what Wisconsin high school students are thinking – a series of questions about the Badger State has been circulated via social media, and we will report the findings. In addition, more than 500 Wisconsin high school students were surveyed on their thoughts about the state and their future plans. That data will be released as well. (Spoiler alert: they are heading for the Twin Cities and leaving Wisconsin because it is too cold… ok, we have some work to do!)

Attendees evaluating a branding campaign for “So what happens when the over 65 Wisconsin – state leaders have been evaluating population doubles in the next 20 years and the potential for a Wisconsin branding the workforce comes up 285,000 people short? campaign and will utilize the attendees as a What does that mean for tax collections? focus group. Housing needs? Long-term care facilities? Innovative company strategies for attracting Wisconsin’s economy?” talent to Wisconsin – as the talent pool in

We opted to focus on Talent and Business Competitiveness to start. At the 2014 Summit, a “to do list” was created to:

• Engage in the Academic and Career Plans being established in every school district • Establish a set of state benchmarks by which Wisconsin could be measured • Provide real-time, easy-to-use labor market information

• Evaluate the feasibility of a Wisconsin branding campaign

• Keep the seven state partners working cooperatively to advance Wisconsin

I am proud to say we are five for five!


At the second annual Economic Summit on December 9 in Madison, we will feature the progress we have made in 2015.

Wisconsin shrinks employers are getting more creative in attracting employees. Business leaders will share their challenges and strategies.

The financial impact of Wisconsin’s changing demographics – What happens when the over 65 population doubles in the next 20 years and the workforce comes up 285,000 people short? What does that mean for tax collections? Housing needs? Long-term care facilities? Wisconsin’s economy?

This year’s Summit promises to be another eye-opening event. I look forward to seeing you December 9 in Madison. BV

Follow Jim on Twitter @JimMorgan1960

The WMC Foundation is dedicated to building a better future for Wisconsin by providing business and economics education, workforce development initiatives, local chambers of commerce support, safety training programs and business best practices.



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The Future Wisconsin Project's 2nd Annual Annual Summit December 9, 2015 Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center, Madison

This year’s event will feature:


• The release of the first annual Wisconsin Competitive Benchmarks • Results of a nationwide perception survey of Wisconsin • Innovative CEOs attracting talent to Wisconsin • The impact of Wisconsin’s changing demographics • Branding Wisconsin • Governor Scott Walker

Register today for early bird pricing


BUSINESS WORLD Steve Benzschawel Director of Business World

Business World

Real World Experience, Life-Changing Results!


illennials in today’s workplace have been described as lazy, dependent and lacking the soft skills employers look for. Words like leadership, work ethic and self-starter are not usually part of the lexicon describing the incoming workforce.

This generation of students has been labeled “trophy kids” for the constant praise and reward they get, without always having to earn it. There is some truth to that, but I work with thousands of Millennials every year so let me offer an alternative perspective.

I see our Business World students break those stereotypes every time we hold a program. This summer nearly 300 high school students from all corners of Wisconsin descended on the campuses of St. Norbert College in De Pere and Edgewood College in Madison for our crash course in business and entrepreneurship. After moving into the dorms, meeting their roommate and saying good-bye to mom and dad, the kids formed companies and were quickly transformed from high school students to business executives. In four short days, the students were tasked with creating a company, delegating job duties, inventing a product, designing a prototype, crafting a brand, creating a marketing campaign and writing and presenting a business plan in front of an audience of shareholders. It is a fast-paced week designed to simulate life in the business world and encourage the traits and characteristics managers desire in Millennial employees.

It’s a common sight at Business World to see students spending extra time perfecting their projects during free time, with multiple student companies asking if the college can open the library after


hours so they have more time to work on their business plans. No hand-holding or coddling here – these kids are passionate self-starters who work their tails off when they have a project they believe in and feel like they are a valued member of their company.

Despite popular belief, professionalism and etiquette are not lost on this generation. When the time comes for presentations on the final day of camp, we see our students put away the flip flops, snazzy socks and cut off t-shirts for dress shirts, ties, slacks and dresses. I leave camp impressed with how seriously these students take their business projects and how much they care about being professional, looking the part and practicing the basic etiquette that will serve them well in whatever career path they choose to follow.

While many Millennials fit the “trophy generation” described earlier, the silver lining I observed in my students is a strong competitive desire to win that trophy. These kids hate to lose and will work as hard as they can to earn the success and validation they crave. And there is nothing more American than that! Every time I work with a group of Wisconsin students, I leave feeling encouraged and excited. It is a great opportunity to teach the next generation of business and community leaders the skills they will need to be successful.BV

Follow Steve on Twitter @wibusinessworld

Be Smart about Education

How is college debt impacting the economy? By Sandy Duckett


ince the recession and supposed gradual recovery, many are wondering why we are not seeing the measure of growth in the overall economy.

Just as interest rates on home mortgages can influence consumers’ decisions on whether to build, expand or reinvest in homeownership, there is a new factor impacting the marketplace today - college debt - the high cost of post-secondary education. A recent study titled “Be Smart about Education” completed by We Are HOPE, Inc. in collaboration with Matousek & Associates, Nicolet Bank and Humana, identified student debt as one of the major factors why many consumers are not purchasing homes and investing in their future. Twenty percent of respondents indicated because of student debt they cannot quality for a loan, are unable to purchase a home and are seeing a negative impact on their credit. “The American dream appears to be harder to achieve. We were told to get educated when we were young, but right out of the box the debt overwhelms getting life started,” according to one survey respondent. The federal government took over the student loan program in 2010 with the intent to reduce the cost; however, interest rates on Stafford Loans are 6.21 percent and 7.21 percent on Parent Plus Loans. Those rates hovered around 1.9 to 3.2 percent prior to the government taking over the loan programs. The cost of education has increased significantly and is impacting all industry sectors.

repayment problems appear to be reducing borrowers’ ability to form their own households.”

If young people are busy paying off debt, they are not accumulating wealth or starting families which are the next generation to support our economy. Today’s young adults are on track to have the lowest rates of marriage by age 40 compared to any previous generations. According to a recent article published by The Wall Street Journal the homeownership rate in the U.S. is now at the lowest levels since 1989. Before the recession, 17.9 percent of people aged 18-31 lived at home with their parents. Today, that number has nearly doubled to 36 percent – that’s a staggering 80 million young people living with mom and dad. We can do so much better. That’s why We Are Hope, Inc. conducted the “Be Smart about Education” survey – to provide individuals and families with correct information and strategies to select the educational program they need to secure employment. As a former senior leader with one of Wisconsin’s colleges and COO of a college foundation, I understand education and I think it is imperative to share this sort of information with today’s students. BV

Sandy Duckett is CEO of We Are HOPE, Inc. which operates one of Wisconsin’s Job Centers and Energy Programs. Visit www.wearehopeinc.org to learn more.

This is one of the most pressing issues affecting our economy.

Even the Federal Reserve has identified student debt as a concern. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York issued a press release February 17, 2015 stating “Student loan delinquencies and

Wisconsin Business Voice


SAFETY EXCELLENCE Janie Ritter Director of Wisconsin Safety Council

Rise in Traffic Fatalities It’s Time for Employers to Take Action


riving a motor vehicle is the most dangerous activity many of us perform each day. If the first six months of 2015 are any indication of how the rest of the year will play out, Wisconsin and the U.S. are on track to have one of the deadliest driving years since 2007. Wisconsin employers can play an integral role in changing this trend and reducing the amount of motor vehicle-related deaths.

There are countless reasons employers should take a pro-active approach to help reduce the risk to their employees. Most important is the well-being of employees and their families, but also to reduce insurance and liability costs of their business. A recent estimate of the economic impact of motor vehicle crashes was $242 billion annually.

From January to June this year, nearly 19,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes across the U.S., and more than 2.2 million were seriously injured. These numbers include motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists as well as drivers and passengers in cars and trucks. In Wisconsin alone, 353 individuals died in motor vehicle crashes since the beginning of 2015 through August (estimate); up significantly from the same time last year.The increase in deaths has been attributed to many factors including an upturn in the economy and lower gas prices resulting in the general population driving more. In fact, the average price for a gallon of gas is 30 percent lower today than last year making it more affordable for families to take a vacation and businesses to send employees to training or on business-related travel.

So what should employers do? Here are a few tips:

• Include distracted driving training as part of your annual employee safety training curriculum. Contact us – the Wisconsin Safety Council can help!

• Implement clear policies prohibiting texting and talking on a cell phone while operating any kind of motorized vehicle while performing work activities.

– The “workplace” includes any location where an employee is operating a vehicle in their role as an employee. – While employers have little say over employee behavior outside of work, strongly encourage these practices off-thejob as well.

Year after year, motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of worker fatalities. Distracted driving dramatically increases the risk of such crashes. According to Randy Romanski from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, driver behavior is the biggest factor in the 2015 deaths. In 2014, over 22,000 crashes occurred where at least one driver was listed as driving inattentively.

– Enforcement of these policies must be consistent and cover both management and non-management employees alike.

• Carefully evaluate existing policies to eliminate incentives or unwritten practices encouraging the use of hand-held communication devices for texting or data entry while operating a vehicle.

Motor Vehicle Fatalities in Wisconsin

Motor Vehicles Fatalities in Wisconsin


2013 2014 2015 2015 Estimate*

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*2015 Estimate based on a 5 year average of motor vehicle fatalities in Wisconsin



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• If texting or data entry is a necessary part of an employee’s job while on the road, consider devising a schedule that allows for routine breaks during which vehicles are stopped to allow for the communication or data entry to be completed. • The National Safety Council offers a free cell phone policy kit containing all the materials you need to communicate to employees. Visit www.safety. nsc.org/cellphonekit.

While most of the media focus has been on texting and cell phones use, there are lists of other ‘distractions’ seen every day on our roadways. Just last week, I saw drivers reading the newspaper, applying make-up, eating, brushing their teeth and shaving. How is a driver able to respond to weather conditions, construction zones, objects in the roadway, or an impaired driver if he is brushing his teeth!

Worker’s Compensation Law Symposium & Best Practices October 27 WMC/WSC Headquarters, Madison 8:00 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Multiple studies show people do not perform as well when trying to execute two attentiondemanding tasks at the same time. The brain is behind all tasks needed for driving: visual, auditory, manual and cognitive. Driving presents hazards that often require split-second reactions, so even the simplest distraction can result in a less-than-desirable outcome.

Symposium Highlights • A complete review of coverage under the Wisconsin Worker's Compensation Act and Federal FMLA • Analysis of employee benefit eligibility and claim administration • Fraud detection and prevention • The relationship of worker’s compensation to other employment laws such as the ADA, state and federal family and medical leave laws, and other state and federal laws

Unfortunately, even knowing all the risks and possible financial consequences, distracted driving is likely to continue. The abundant use of electronic devices has resulted in growing pressure to always be available. The drive to remain competitive, the proliferation of a younger workforce who demand to be connected at all times and the growth of remote work locations – all of these require employers to take a pro-active role educating employees about the risks of distracted driving. This effort will significantly reduce the leading cause of worker fatalities: motor vehicle crashes. BV

Delora Newton Wisconsin’s Worker Division Administrator

Register Today www.wisafetycouncil.org

Follow WSC on Twitter @WISafetyCouncil

Chapter of

Denise Greathouse Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

Charles B. Palmer Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

The Wisconsin Safety Council, a division of WMC, is Wisconsin's leading provider of safety training and programming. WSC offers training throughout the year at locations across the state.

Safety Training October - December 2015 SHEBOYGAN/CLEVELAND AREA SAFETY TRAINING


October 27

November 12

October 7

October 12

October 29

November 16

Safety on the Lakeshore Autumn Conference & Exposition


Job Hazard Analysis

October 13

RCRA Compliance for Hazardous Waste Generators Overview (AM)

October 15

DOT Hazmat Transportation Refresher Overview (PM)

October 28

Safety Management Techniques (SMT)

Safety Inspections

October 19-22

Coaching the Lift Truck Operator, Trainthe-Trainer

October 23

December 1-4

OSHA 30-hr Voluntary Compliance Course for General Industry

Incident Investigation: A Root Cause Analysis

Worker’s Compensation Law & Best Practices Conference Coaching the Lift Truck Operator, Trainthe-Trainer

November 2

Supervisor Development: Safety & Health Fundamentals

November 3

OSHA Construction Breakfast “OSHA Inspections”

Fall Arrest Equipment – Selection & Proper Use Conducting Effective Safety Training

December 14

Effective Team Safety


OSHA 10-hr Voluntary Compliance Course for General Industry

www.wisafetycouncil.org Wisconsin Business Voice


Own the Future By Peter Feigin


tanding on the roof of the Stock House Building in Schlitz Park this summer overlooking a crowd of 10,000+ Wisconsinites eating brats, drinking Miller Lite and waiting for the Bucks to reveal our new uniform, I saw the future.

For years the state has been yearning to embrace an NBA team. It was the responsibility of the new Bucks organization to create the foundation (both literally and figuratively) the people of Wisconsin could build on. We have repeated the phrase “Own the Future” relentlessly over the last 12 months. It is our mantra. Born as a phrase to sell the promise of our talented young team beginning to take the league by storm, the slogan has evolved into something even bigger and better. Now “Own the Future” celebrates our goal of becoming an invaluable part of the fabric of the city and the state and declares our value proposition of investing, building, winning and providing a first-class experience for the fans.

When our new ownership group purchased the Bucks in spring of 2014, they saw the potential of a young, talented squad and a city aching for a resurgence. Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan recognized the incredible potential of Milwaukee and were determined to invest in its revitalization. They set aspirational goals for our organization: A championship-caliber team, a world-class business, an unparalleled impact in our community and an economic catalyst that will help create vibrant community in the heart of downtown. Twelve months later, overlooking the crowd in Schlitz Park, I saw the beginnings of that future of a re-energized franchise, a reexcited fan base and a community transformed. Our first few months in Milwaukee were a whirlwind of organizational change and community exploration. We quickly overhauled our business operations by doubling our staff (a front office of 87 is now over 180), grew our management committee with the addition of some incredibly talented and experienced 12

executives, assembled an extraordinary local ownership group, relocated into a new open-concept office space that would foster communication and collaboration among our staff, and reconstructed our HR and finance departments to help streamline our business operations. We got the right people in the boat. For all the internal change though, our biggest focus has been to reconnect with Wisconsin. We scheduled hundreds upon hundreds of meetings with everyone from public officials and community leaders to season ticket holders, sponsors and business leaders. We wanted to truly understand the region – both in terms of what makes it so special and how we could best contribute to its growth and revitalization. We have hosted over 50 town hall meetings – from Eau Claire to Rhinelander, Green Bay, Racine and Madison – working to bring fans from across the state to Milwaukee to connect or reconnect with “our team.”

It didn't take us long to realize Wisconsin is home to some of the most generous, genuine and passionate people in the world. It was also clear we wouldn't have to undertake any of our aspirational endeavors alone. When people ask me what makes Wisconsin different from any other part of the world, I say this is the place where folks offer assistance while asking for nothing in return… and mean it.

I leave many meetings where people say “please call me if there is any way I can help you.” I used to think they were just being polite. Now I know they really mean it, and I have not hesitated to call on many for information, understanding and support. This collective effort has worked. It’s no longer about concepts, ideas and visions, but about real growth. Thanks to the incredible bipartisan support we received at both the state and local level, we’re moving forward with an aggressive plan to transform downtown Milwaukee and drive growth throughout the state and region. The $1 billion in development in a previously underutilized portion of the city is now real. The 14,000 construction jobs are real. The over 2,000 permanent jobs we expect this development

to generate will soon be real. We are transforming vacant lots into a thriving urban community – a place where people live, work and play.

We’re already seeing the ripple of growth this project will generate. The recent news that the former Ace Hardware building adjacent to the Park East land will be redeveloped speaks to the untapped potential in this project. We’re also thrilled to see the vibrant Schlitz Park community we now call home expanding even further. This helps create a seamless web of development that will spread out from the new arena site in all directions and make for a more interconnected and active downtown community. We’ve made enormous progress in many other efforts to enhance the community. We’ll soon be announcing a new Bucks Foundation which will continue the commitment to the community that was such a hallmark of Senator Kohl’s tenure with the Bucks. We are making a difference in areas we think we can have the greatest impact – namely health, wellness, and education initiatives and programs focused on our city’s youth. Just last month we announced a new partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools, spearheaded by Jabari Parker (the Buck’s 2014 first round draft pick), to tackle the issue of poor school attendance that can be so detrimental to young students. Our players and management

understand commitment to the city and the state are an essential part of the team’s culture.

As we get ready to tip off another season, much of the focus will return to our performance on the court. We are beyond excited to watch our young team continue to grow under our general manager, John Hammond, and head coach Jason Kidd’s leadership. We are committed to winning championships and look forward to taking more steps towards that goal this season. We are also committed to this city, this county and this state. When we talk about owning the future, it’s no longer just about basketball. We all have a responsibility to the future of this community and now we can look forward to not just owning it, but actually building it, together. BV Peter Feigin is President of the Milwaukee Bucks

State of  Wisconsin Business Events Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center, Madison Lambeau Field, Green Bay Madison Program: Monona Terrace 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

State of Wisconsin’s (Fraternal) Twin Cities Zach Brandon, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce & Tim Sheehy, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce State of Wisconsin Business Kurt Bauer, CEO/President, WMC State of the State Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch

Green Bay Program: Lambeau Field 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

State of the Green Bay Packers Mark Murphy, Green Bay Packers President & CEO State of Wisconsin Business Kurt Bauer, CEO/President, WMC State of the Nation Dr. J.D. Foster, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

State of the Nation Dr. J.D. Foster, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Two inspiring events. One great state! Wisconsin Business Voice


FEDERAL REGULATION Chris Reader WMC Director of Health & Human Resources Policy

Upending Federal Labor Law


hile substantial progress has been made in recent years to curtail the power of labor unions in Wisconsin, the situation at the federal level couldn’t be more different. In Wisconsin, the Legislature and Governor passed Act 10 in 2011, significantly curtailing public sector labor unions and returning power to the workers and taxpayers. Earlier this year we passed Right to Work legislation for private sector employees, guaranteeing no worker can be forced to join a labor union and pay union dues if they don’t want, becoming the 25th state to do so.

There is strong support from the general public for such reforms and statistics prove pro-growth reforms like Right to Work lead to stronger job and wage growth. Despite that, President Obama’s Administration continues down a different path – one that makes hiring new employees more expensive and empowers outdated labor unions.

a union election within a worksite to as little as 10 days from start to finish, giving little time for the employer to respond and discuss the matter with employees. The rule makes several other changes to the election process, including a requirement the employer turn over personal phone numbers and email addresses of workers so the union can contact workers leading up to the election. Combined with another ruling, which allows using company emails to campaign in support of forming a union prior to an election notice being filed, the rules are now stacked strongly in the union’s favor. In August, the NLRB made a ruling in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. that will have a dramatic impact going forward. The ruling ties separate business entities as “joint employers” if they have an economic or contractual relationship, such as contracting for temporary workers. It also impacts industries that utilize franchisees by possibly forcing a company like McDonald’s to the bargaining table with a franchisee and that restaurant’s workers.

In three separate actions, President Obama single-handedly moved labor law in a costly direction. By executive order in 2014, the President established a new minimum wage of $10.10 for all federal construction and service contracts, despite In another brazen attempt to expand union power, ample evidence that raising the minimum wage the NLRB, shortly after Wisconsin became the “In three separate actions, limits entry level jobs, hurting the very people 25th Right to Work state, announced it was President Obama singlesupporters of raising the minimum wage want considering a so-called “fair share” rule. This rule handedly moved labor law in a would allow labor unions to collect fees from to help. In a move that could cost billions and limit advancement opportunities for workers, the non-member employees at worksites where the costly direction.” President ordered the Department of Labor earlier union had a presence. The attempt would have been this year to expand overtime exemption rules – more than an end run on Right to Work laws. Fortunately, that effort was doubling the wage amount at which workers have to be paid hourly, halted in July due to a settlement that had been reached in the labor including overtime pay, versus being salaried. And this year on case prompting the effort. This is by no means a permanent stop, Labor Day, he announced a new executive order requiring federal however. If a new case presents an opportunity, the NLRB is likely contractors to offer seven days of paid sick leave to workers and to revisit this issue. called on Congress to pass a similar costly mandate on all private All the aforementioned items occurred without support from U.S. employers. Congress, and with strong opposition from the business community. One step removed from the White House, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), comprising appointees of President Obama, has also been pushing hard to transform labor law with costly anti-business rulings.

At the end of 2014, the NLRB finalized the “ambush election” rules, which dramatically change the rules for union organizing in favor of organized labor. The new rules shorten the timeframe for


Going forward, expect more items like these in the final year of the Obama Administration. Organized labor has seen a dramatic decline in recent decades and their supporters will do all they can in the coming months to give labor unions a leg-up. BV

Follow Chris on Twitter @ReaderWMC

WMC Congratulates Reed Hall, Retired CEO, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation


MC is proud to congratulate Reed Hall as he retires from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Prior to his service at WEDC, Reed was Executive Director of the Marshfield Clinic. He came out of retirement to serve as a temporary chief of the WEDC before being named its permanent CEO, a post he held for nearly three years. During his time at Marshfield Clinic Reed served on the WMC Board of Directors.


“Reed Hall is a great business leader and civic leader for our state,” said Kurt Bauer, WMC President/CEO. “He was a tireless advocate for job growth and helping our families to be more prosperous. We have been very fortunate to have his service at the WEDC.” BV

WMC Welcomes Mark Hogan, Incoming CEO of WEDC


n September, Governor Walker named banking executive Mark Hogan as CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, replacing Reed Hall.

“Mark Hogan is a proven and respected leader in finance and business, and we are honored to have him as a partner in our efforts to grow the economy, create jobs, and keep Wisconsin heading in the right direction,” Gov. Walker said. “Mark’s experience will be invaluable as WEDC continues to reform and improve processes to best serve the citizens of this state in developing economic opportunities for families all around Wisconsin.”

“I am honored to join the team at WEDC, and look forward to putting my experience to work for the people of Wisconsin,” Hogan said. “We will continue to work in partnership with Wisconsin business leaders, so they can grow and expand and create more good-paying, family-supporting jobs.” Hogan’s work experience includes almost four decades at M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank and BMO Harris Bank. He retired in 2010 as M&I’s Executive Vice President/Chief Credit Officer before signing on to serve as Senior Advisor to BMO Harris in 2011.

WMC looks forward to continuing the relationship with WEDC and working with Hogan. BV

28th Annual Awards Program Recognizing excellence in manufacturing

Thursday, February 25, 2016 The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee

MOTY PROMO 1/2 page

Apply Today Applications available online


The annual awards competition is sponsored by:


REGULATORY REFORM Lucas Vebber WMC Director of Environmental & Energy Policy

Regulatory Reform: A Continued Priority C ompliance with onerous regulations at all levels of government continues to be a significant expense for Wisconsin employers. Our state made great strides with the passage of 2011 Act 21 a few years ago, which reformed our regulatory process and gave more control over agency rulemaking to the governor’s office. While Act 21 improved things, there is still more work to be done. The constant change of regulations and associated hidden price tags of new and modified administrative rules continue to be a burden for employers. Administrative agencies promulgate rules to enforce statutes. Agencies also regularly issue what are known as “statements of policy” or “guidance” documents to their staff to help interpret those rules and statutes. Where necessary, the Legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules ( JCRAR) can require agencies to promulgate those policy changes as rules. Also, under current law, agencies must prepare an economic impact analysis (EIA) for rules, but there’s no process to ensure those EIA’s are accurate, and no added steps for the costliest rules.

• Ensures proper legal authority: under this legislation agencies would be required to submit scope statements to the Office of Business Development (OBD) at the Department of Administration, who would first review the scope statement to ensure the agency has proper statutory authority to promulgate the proposed rule. OBD would then report its findings to the Governor, who would still be required to approve the scope statement before the rule could move forward. OBD will also be able to review agency “guidance” documents, and like JCRAR, will be able to require those agencies to promulgate such guidance as rules, where appropriate, ensuring added oversight.

• Improves involvement of regulated industries: the legislation requires agencies to hold public hearings on scope statements before even beginning to draft a rule, and requires those agencies to provide a public comment period on the proposed scope statement. This is an important opportunity for employers to weigh-in on potential changes before the agencies even begin writing the regulations.

• Shines light on regulatory costs and ensures accurate cost WMC-suppported legislation pending before both the Assembly estimates: the legislation continues the requirement that and Senate address these concerns and will significantly improve agencies prepare an EIA for each proposed regulatory change, the regulatory process for employers in Wisconsin. Assembly Bill but includes added levels of oversight. Specifically, the Secretary 251 and Senate Bill 168 by Representative of Revenue will be required to review and approve all agency EIAs. Further, the Secretary of Revenue Neylon (R - Pewaukee) and Senator “Legislation pending as well as the JCRAR co-chairs will be able to LeMahieu (R - Oostburg) improve before both the Assembly and require independent EIAs be completed for any transparency and will help to change, at their discretion, helping to shed light Senate address these concerns contain regulatory costs by adding on the hidden costs of regulatory changes. new levels of oversight. and will significantly improve the This legislation makes several regulatory changes to the regulatory process. In the interest of brevity I have highlighted a few of the more important changes:

These changes increase transparency and process for employers in oversight of the regulatory process and will Wisconsin.” help ensure Wisconsin employers are not overly

• Ensures legislative oversight of the costliest regulations: where proposed regulatory changes are reasonably expected to cost more than $10 million, this legislation would require the passage of a bill, ensuring the costliest regulations receive the most legislative oversight.


burdened by new compliance costs and an ever-changing regulatory environment. Call your legislator today and let them know you support Assembly Bill 251 and Senate Bill 168. BV Follow Lucas on Twitter @VebberWMC

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WISCONSIN What Does Wisconsin Mean To You?

A Strong State Brand is a Powerful Economic Development Tool By Mark Crawford


t’s not easy to build a state brand. It must carry a simple yet unified message that rings true for both business and quality of life, on multiple levels. It requires serious long-term commitment, financing, leadership and collaboration among all key stakeholders, as well as the creativity and smarts to bring it all together in a single, resonant message. It must also be true – if the message is not authentic, or poorly designed, it will create confusion and doubt, sending prospective businesses and talented workers to develop their futures elsewhere. A complete state brand reflects both economic development (Wisconsin is a good place to do business) and quality of life/tourism (Wisconsin is great place to live, work, raise a family, go to school).

Wisconsin’s “business brand” has evolved dramatically over the last several years. “To many corporations and commercial real estate professionals, Wisconsin was never really in the conversation for significant expansions or investments undergoing a national search,” says Tricia R. Braun, deputy secretary and chief operation officer for Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). “Now, because of an aggressive campaign bolstered by regulatory and policy reforms, we have the attention of these critical audiences.” No audience is more attentive than site selection consultants.

climate over a relatively short period of time,” indicates John H. Boyd, principal with The Boyd Company in Princeton, New Jersey, a leading site selection firm that has also conducted research for several state branding campaigns. “This is very timely for the state, as we see huge opportunities for Wisconsin to benefit from the revival of U.S. manufacturing and reshoring trends in that sector.” Business climate is only one-half of a complete state brand – the other half is tourism and quality of life.

“Business climate is only one-half of a complete state brand – the other half is tourism and quality of life. ”

A recent survey by Longwoods International USA, a travel and tourism research group based in Bay City, Michigan, shows Midwestern consumers have a very positive attitude toward Wisconsin, especially for scenery, state parks, fishing, wildlife and fall colors. “In fact, Wisconsin ranked first as the place people would really enjoy visiting, ahead of its regional competitors Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana and Iowa,” states George Zimmermann, chairman of Longwoods International USA and former director of tourism for Michigan. Wisconsin cities also consistently make Livability’s top-100 list for best small- to mid-sized cities in which to live and work – another strong indicator of Wisconsin’s highly ranked quality of life.

“I am hard pressed to name a state that has done a better job of transforming its business

Wisconsin Business Voice


For brand-making, the challenge is tying business climate and quality of life together in a single unified brand. The brand also needs to acknowledge the highly popular and more stereotypical views of Wisconsin, such as beer, cheeseheads and the Green Bay Packers – all strong “mini-brands” of their own that are deeply entrenched outside the state. “Wisconsin is known for its natural resources and attractive tourist destinations, but we still need to work collectively on expanding people’s perceptions of our state to include the many positive attributes beyond the beer and cheese for which we are famous,” says Kelly Lietz, vice president of marketing for WEDC. “We cannot be ‘fearful’ of these perceptions of the state,” adds Daniel Nelson, president and CEO of Nelson Schmidt, a marketing firm with offices in Milwaukee and Madison. “In fact, we should embrace them. It’s our deep-seated culture of brewing beer, dairy farming and manufacturing that has led us to evolve to where we are today – being innovative leaders in water technology, energy and power, food and beverage, bioscience and other industries.”

Benefits of a Strong Brand

A strong brand attracts not only robust economic development from outside state borders, but also top talent. Drawn by the high quality of life, outstanding academic institutions and innovative thinking in Wisconsin, out-of-state students will come here to get their education and hopefully stay and join the workforce, perhaps even becoming thought leaders in their fields.

“A strong state brand leads to more loyal businesses, more predictable revenue streams and greater economic stability, which create less pressure to compete with other states on tax credits or other incentives,” says Marsha Lindsay, CEO and brand expert for Lindsay, Stone and Briggs, an advertising firm in Madison. Unified enthusiasm around a brand and its message can propel the state’s brand mission forward and create more efficiency and consistency across state agencies. “If the message is delivered with one brand platform in mind, and the state offers a complete package of being a great place to work, live and play, there is a cohesive message presented to the audience,” says Nelson. Although campaigns can be altered for different audiences – for example, attraction, talent recruitment, business retention, startup support – “if we can start with a unified brand platform,” he continues, “each campaign will shape and reinforce the perception we want to deliver.”

Building Wisconsin’s Brand

Nelson Schmidt was hired by WEDC three years ago to build the state’s business brand. Early research identified Kentucky (Unbridled Passion), Michigan (Pure Michigan) and Wyoming (Forever West) as examples of states with fairly strong brands. Each state showed consistency and discipline in the management of the brand’s message, supported by the necessary infrastructure. However, after reviewing the brands of all 50 states, Nelson concluded that no state has developed a brand that does a good job of tying business and quality of life together. Nelson and his team travelled across Wisconsin to see how the state is perceived by its residents. Interviewees identified strongly with the Green Bay Packer and beer themes. As Nelson developed what became the new In Wisconsin® campaign, he made it a point to acknowledge these strong allegiances in the overall economic development message. For example, beer was connected to Wisconsin’s strength in water technology and dairy/agriculture was linked to energy innovation and power control. “These deep, authentic identities within the state can be linked to economic development and managed at the state level through the In Wisconsin® brand,” says Nelson.

In Wisconsin® – introduced less than a year ago – has been effective in bringing attention to Wisconsin’s improved business climate. Now Nelson Schmidt is working with the state to possibly expand the brand to include tourism and quality of life. This would involve input from key stakeholders such as WEDC, Department of Workforce Development, Department of Tourism, Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. “To make this work, however, there must be an ‘owner’ designated by senior management to oversee planning and implementation, such as a chief marketing officer,” says Nelson. “Many perspectives must be taken into consideration and many stakeholders need to feel involved in the process in order for it to succeed,” adds Lietz. “The exercise is as much internally focused as it is targeted toward outside audiences. In the end, the goal is not only to clearly articulate positive differentiation, but also gain commitment from the entire economic development partner network to deliver on a singular, powerful promise.”

Lindsay notes that Wisconsin needs a sense of urgency for developing its brand. “There are others who are already way ahead of us, marketing to millennials, venture capital firms and high growth sectors,” she says. “Whoever ultimately manages the project must be knowledgeable about best brand management practices and have the authority to build out on-brand programs. That person must also be immune from politics, changes of administration, etc.” Ultimately, the benefits of a strong brand are not captured in a set of metrics, but rather by improved performance across all the state’s attraction, retention and growth strategies. It’s not only what a state says about itself, but also about how it proves those claims every day through its actions that creates new business opportunities. Powerful brands also produce marketing and operational efficiencies, driven by consistency and allegiance to a singular value proposition.

Moving Forward

There is no question Wisconsin is headed in the right direction. Boyd indicates that health care, precision metalworking, engineered plastics, composites, energy, aerospace, autos, medical technology, food processing and other advanced manufacturing companies are looking closely at Wisconsin. “These are sectors that increasingly integrate new innovative technologies in both products and processes,” says Boyd. “The rate of technology adoption, and the ability to use that technology to remain competitive and add value, are defining measures for the advanced manufacturing sector.”

“Trying to be all things to all people is both exhausting and ineffective,” says Lietz. “In Wisconsin, we know who we are and we have a powerful story to tell about the ‘can-do’ attitude of our people that makes our state a great place to do business.” BV Crawford is a Madison-based freelance writer.

He also notes his clients are monitoring the fiscal conditions of states “like never before” – especially as they relate to unfunded pensions. “Wisconsin is being looked at as a model for pension reform,” continues Boyd. “Wisconsin’s Act 10, which reformed government employee unions, has enjoyed popular support from our clients.”

If crafted effectively, one brand will support both quality of life and business. The message can be shaped and molded for specific audiences. The brand can even extend to allow for a city, region or partner to highlight those attributes unique to it, while still connecting to the state’s overall brand. “It’s important to recognize that, if not done collaboratively, a region’s or city’s attempt at branding itself will fall short if there isn’t a thoughtful approach to connecting it to the state’s brand,” cautions Nelson.

Good branding allows a state to present the best version of itself to its target audience, but it must also not stretch perceptions beyond what is believable. Powerful branding is built upon uniqueness, which means one state’s brand promise should not be transferable to another. “No other state should be able to make the same claim,” says Lietz. “Also, a clearly articulated brand gives direction to those charged with delivering its value. They should know what behaviors are ‘on brand’ and what behaviors are ‘off brand.’”

Attend the Future Wisconsin Economic Summit December 9 in Madison to share your input about the future of Wisconsin's brand


Wisconsin Business Voice


China Offers Plenty of Opportunity for Wisconsin Exporters A lthough U.S. imports from China still exceed U.S. exports to China, the latter have grown rapidly in recent years as the purchasing power of China’s population has grown.

China is a vast country with a population of 1.4 billion, and the purchasing power of its middle class is expected to surpass that of the U.S. middle class in the near future. Demand for U.S. products is strong in the market since Chinese consumers consider these products to be high-quality and good value. In particular, recent safety scandals with domestic Chinese food producers have driven up demand for food products from the U.S., which are viewed as more trustworthy.

China is also one of Wisconsin’s top trading partners, with more than $1.5 billion in goods and services from Wisconsin companies exported to China in 2014. The country’s push to shed its role as “the world’s factory” and focus instead on research and development and high-end

manufacturing is reflected in the top categories of exports from Wisconsin to China: the leading categories in 2014 were industrial machinery (23 percent), medical and scientific instruments (22 percent) and electrical machinery (13 percent). To meet the needs of an increasingly urbanized population, China is making massive investments in infrastructure including highways, rail networks and airports, presenting an opportunity for Wisconsin companies that produce the equipment and supplies needed for these projects. Housing construction is another highly active sector, with strong demand for U.S.-made goods such as appliances and home fixtures.

China has recently undertaken several environmental protection initiatives – including a pledge to trim greenhouse gas emissions, a new air pollution monitoring framework and a reduction in taxes on cars and ships powered with alternative energy – and there is an appetite for alternative energy and clean technology solutions.

INTERNATIONAL GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES IN CHINA 2014 Top Export 2014 Top Categories Export Categories to China to China

Industrial Machinery Industrial– Machinery 23% – 23% Medical & Scientific Medical Instruments & Scientific Instruments – 22% – 22% Electrical Machinery Electrical– Machinery 13% – 13% Raw Hides –Raw 5% Hides – 5% Dairy Products Dairy – 4% Products – 4% Plastics – 4%Plastics – 4% Vehicles – 3% Vehicles – 3% Other – 26% Other – 26%

Population: 1.4 billion (237x greater than WI)

2014 WI Exports: $1.6 billion

Area: 9.6 million sq km (57x larger than WI)

WI Export Rank: 3

GDP: $9.3 trillion (35x larger than WI)

2014 WI Imports: $6.1 billion

2014 Top Import 2014 Top Categories Import Categories from Chinafrom China

Industrial Machinery Industrial – Machinery 18% – 18% Electrical Machinery Electrical – Machinery 13% – 13% Furniture – 9% Furniture – 9% Footwear – 9% Footwear – 9% Knit Apparel Knit & Clothing Apparel– & 7%Clothing – 7% Medical & Scientific MedicalInstruments & Scientific Instruments – 7% – 7% Toys – 6% Toys – 6% Other – 31% Other – 31%

Key Industries: Mining and Ore Processing, Textiles and Apparel, Consumer Products Manufacturing (including footwear, toys and electronics), Food Processing, Chemicals/Fertilizers, Transportation, Tourism

To learn more about growing your business in China, visit InWisconsin.com/Exporting or call 855-INWIBIZ (toll free).


In general, U.S. exporters should focus on value-added products rather than commodities to avoid competing head-to-head with Chinese companies on their own turf. To help Wisconsin companies understand the dynamics of the Chinese market and connect with local partners, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will be leading a global trade venture to China in January 2016. With WEDC’s support, the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership is offering a China-specific session of ExporTech™, a program that guides companies in developing an export strategy and identifying the most promising export markets for their products and services. China is a diverse country in terms of geography, demographics and culture – the China-specific ExporTech session will help companies decide which markets within China to focus on to increase their odds of success. Sessions will take place in November, December and February. Companies not yet exporting into China are strongly encouraged to consider both programs – ExporTech as well as the related global trade venture – to best position themselves for success in the market. BV

For more information on exporting to China or other parts of the world, visit the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s website at InWisconsin. com/exporting. For more information on ExporTech™, see InWisconsin.com/exportech.



IN WISCONSIN® WE’RE AS INVESTED AS YOU ARE. We know financial stability is important to your business. That’s why we work hard to keep our tax policies in check. In doing so, we’ve created an economic environment that allows your business to compete globally and nationally. If you’re paving the way in an emerging industry, our policies are suited for your advancement. If you’re looking for highly skilled employees, we’ve devoted millions to workforce development programs. If you’re in manufacturing or agriculture, we can virtually eliminate your tax burden. That way, you can build your business with confidence in a climate you feel good about. To learn more about how our tax policies can help you expand or relocate In Wisconsin, call 855-INWIBIZ (toll free) or visit Confidence.InWisconsin.com.


Photo: Schneider, Green Bay, WI. In Wisconsin® is a registered trademark of Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Basic Ingredients of Good Economic Policy By Sen. Ron Johnson (R – WI)


ith all the serious challenges facing this nation, we need to recognize the number one component of a solution for those issues is economic growth. The good news is we know how to solve those issues. We’ve done it in the past by relying on individual liberty and the free market system.

We have some important strengths. We are the world’s largest economy, which means we are the world’s largest customer. Manufacturers want to be close to customers. I know – I was one. We have a great workforce with a can-do spirit and productivity and ingenuity that are unmatched. Another strength is our abundant and relatively cheap energy, especially electricity. We should keep it that way. Let’s not artificially drive up the cost of power.

Beyond these basic ingredients of good economic policy, there is an important cultural factor as well. Instead of demonizing and demagoguing success, it’s time to start celebrating and incentivizing it. Certainly, that will require a cultural shift because the demonization of business organizations has been working politically for decades.

So I ask every business owner and business manager to use the credibility you have with the people who work with you. Use it to defend yourselves. Make sure the people who work with you realize as a group of people, as an organization, you have to succeed. Everyone will get better pay and better benefits, better job opportunities, better job security if, as a group of individuals, they succeed.

And business success is measured by something: it’s called a profit. Profit is not evil. It’s absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, in what Our greatest weakness as an economy is our burdensome regulatory once was a land of unlimited opportunity, a environment. Some studies indicate it costs changed political environment has made close to $2 trillion dollars per year just to “Our greatest weakness as an that an unpopular thing to say. We’ve got comply with federal regulations. Only nine to change that – the sooner, the better. economy is our burdensome entire economies in the world are larger than October is Manufacturing Month in regulatory environment.” $2 trillion dollars. Wisconsin, a time to appreciate people And of course our tax system is completely who make things. Every month should be a uncompetitive. We have the highest business tax rate in the time, however, to appreciate our free market system – and to allow developed world. If you’re an overseas manufacturer looking to it to deliver once again the growth our country needs. BV put a new plant close to your North American customers, are you Senator Johnson is Chairman of the Homeland going to site your plant in Toronto with a 15 percent top tax rate, or Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Detroit with 35 percent? These numbers are brutal for us. We know what needs to be fixed. We know what we need to concentrate on so the American economy once again begins to grow and provide the well-paying jobs we all want for every American.

serves on the Budget, Foreign Relations, and Commerce, Science and Transportation committees.

BUSINESS DAY IN MADISON Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center, Madison Eric Bolling Co-host of The Five on Fox News Channel

Governor Scott Walker

Stephen Hayes Fox News contributor and columnist for The Weekly Standard

Ken Gronbach Demographer and futurist

Register today – www.businessdayinmadison.com 24

We want to hear from your out-of-state contacts!

Survey respondents may be people who were born and grew up here but no longer live here, graduates of our educational institutions, people who own second homes here, people who may be business associates or friends elsewhere or others. Please use this link to complete the survey: www.surveymonkey.com/r/ F87JYVL The “Wisconsin state of mind” survey is a project of the WMC Foundation and its partners which includes:





As part of The Future Wisconsin Project, we are conducting a “Perception Survey” of the state, including both Wisconsinites and out-of-staters. The goal of this survey is to compile a non-scientific but nonetheless revealing look at the perceptions of Wisconsin by people of all ages who live outside the state – or close to home.


Wisconsin State of Mind: A National Perception Survey

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An inside look at Saris Cycling Group.

Bicycling is Moving Wisconsin Forward By Chris Fortune


wenty-six years ago, my wife Sara and I bought the company Graber, now known as Saris Cycling Group. With the support of my father-in-law and former President of WMC, Phil Hendrickson, and his connections to the UW-Stout Technology Transfer Program, we have been able to manufacture products here in Madison, Wisconsin, and compete on a global scale. We now have over 200 employees selling Saris (bicycle racks for vehicles, bike parking and bike storage products), CycleOps (indoor trainers and indoor cycles) and PowerTap (bike performance training aids) products into over 60 countries globally. We could not have come this far without our “for cyclists, by cyclists” mentality. We simply believe in the bike.

of a Complete Streets renovation. Developers see a premium in locating their projects near bike trails. Increased occupancy rates, higher property values and reduced car parking overhead are just a few of the reasons developers and real estate agents love bike infrastructure.

The economic impact from bicycling is bigger than deer hunting in Wisconsin! The Wisconsin bicycling industry generates $1.5 billion for the Wisconsin economy and accounts for 14,000 jobs statewide. These are manufacturing and small business/retail jobs. People are probably familiar with the larger manufacturers like Saris and Trek, but there are hundreds of small, independently owned, thriving bike shops occupying Main Street storefronts across the state. In Wisconsin, there are more bike shops than Culver’s locations.


When it comes to recruiting talented employees, Wisconsin manufacturers and businesses must compete in ways that are much different from a decade ago. Millennials are choosing quality of life factors like access to transportation and recreational opportunities when deciding where to live and work. Wisconsin manufacturers like Aprilaire and Kimberly-Clark are using their bike friendliness as an effective “The economic impact from recruitment and retention tool, while During this past summer’s state transportation budget proceedings, the bicycle found itself bicycling is bigger than deer also reaping the benefits of fewer sick squarely in the middle of a growing political days and increased productivity that hunting in Wisconsin!” debate. Sadly, the end result was not a win for come with increased bike commuting the bicycling industry, cycling infrastructure, nor the state’s among employees. economy as a whole. The true disappointment was the lack of According to the Department of Health Services, Wisconsin’s recognition for the positive impact the bicycling economy has in health care costs related to obesity were $2.7 billion in 2013, Wisconsin. Instead of support for the significant contributions and are expected to rise to $4.6 billion in 2020. We can address to manufacturing and small business jobs, tourism, economic this preventable threat to our communities and state budget by development and health care savings, the bicycle and the paths and supporting the creation and promotion of active communities streets they travel became unnecessarily entangled in statehouse and transportation. This small investment improves our children’s politics. physical health while simultaneously improving our state’s fiscal

Bicycling and its related infrastructure are also fast-rising influencers in the property development realm. Empty storefronts and warehouses in neighborhoods like Wauwatosa’s North Avenue and Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point have been replaced with vibrant commercial districts after bike lanes were added as part


A bicycle and bike path can do amazing things that no other piece of equipment or infrastructure in Wisconsin can claim. Two wheels and a strip of pavement can create jobs, generate tourism dollars, spur economic development, lower health care costs and be a talent acquisition tool for Wisconsin businesses. Can you name another investment that can accomplish so much for Wisconsin? All this for pennies on the dollar when looking at the overall transportation budget. We need your support for this industry to continue to positively impact the economic future of our state. BV Chris Fortune is President of Saris Cycling Group.

TRANSPORTATION Jason Culotta WMC Director of Tax & Transportation Policy

Fixing Wisconsin’s Transportation Finance Shortfall


uly marked the end of a contentious state budget process. Providing more funding for transportation needs was widely discussed, but reductions in the level of borrowing and delays in highway projects were the result.

This year many states adopted new revenues to keep up with costs, yet Wisconsin was not among them. The Badger State has long relied on user fees to finance such spending, principally the gas tax (about $1 billion annually) and vehicle registration fees ($670 million). Neither of those sources has seen rate increases since 2006 and 2007, respectively. Without new money, borrowing has been used to necessarily cover expenses. The 2013-15 budget provided $991 million in infrastructure borrowing, compared to $780 million prior.

Wisconsin provides local road aids to counties, towns and municipalities as well as aid to local bus systems, rail and harbor improvements. However, the lion’s share of transportation appropriations is for highways, the most widely used mode. The highway program consists of three main pillars:

• I-43 – from the Mitchell Interchange to Silver Spring Drive • US 41/45 – from the Zoo to Richfield

WisDOT officials hoped to conclude the “Megas” with $350 million annually over 15 years. Net costs could be reduced by literally billions of dollars compared to stretching these projects over three decades. But paying for the Megas cannot happen without increased funding. When the demands of “Rehab” and “Majors” and other infrastructure spending are taken into consideration, current revenues are clearly inadequate.

What options does Wisconsin realistically have? Efficiencies can (and should) be pursued, though unlikely to generate sufficient offsets. Projects can be delayed, except that only adds to the price tag of projects which must be done. Tolling is an option; Wisconsin would require an act of Congress to toll an existing interstate. Other areas of the country have succeeded in similar requests, although it is a heavy lift. Tracking vehicle miles traveled is a new idea that has not been put into practice and draws strong public opposition, yet likely has a future in financing transportation.

Many states dedicate a significant portion of the general fund to infrastructure. Wisconsin will transfer $38 million this year from its principal account, helpful but not enough to meet the demand. • Major Highway Development – about $370 million for larger Shifting more general fund money is nearly impossible in an age projects outside Milwaukee such as Highway 441 in the Fox of exploding health care costs. Wisconsin’s share of BadgerCare Cities and I-90 from Beloit to Madison and related programs swelled by $1.4 billion in the 2011-13 • Southeast Wisconsin Freeway Megaprojects – about $300 budget, $850 million in 2013-15 and over $650 million in the million last year current document. This expense alone consumes One of these components, Southeast most of the growth in tax collections, “Tracking vehicle miles traveled Megaprojects, consists of 116 miles of crowding out other priorities like schools is a new idea that has not been put freeways in and around Milwaukee that into practice and draws strong public and roads. was first built in the 1950s and 60s and The vehicle registration fee, currently opposition, yet likely has a future in must be rehabilitated or reconstructed. $75 per year for most vehicles, could Today, about 23 miles of that work has been financing transportation.” be raised. Boosting the fee by $25 would concluded, leaving 93 miles to complete in add $87 million annually, comprising part of the seven projects: solution and similar to charges in other states. A five-cent addition • I-94 North-South – partially done, with more work between to the gas tax would generate about $160 million more each year. Milwaukee and the Illinois border to be completed It’s easy to see why seven states have boosted the gas tax since • Zoo Interchange – where I-94, I-894, and Hwy 45 converge January: other options aren’t as viable. If Wisconsin is to address • I-94 East-West – the stretch between the Marquette and Zoo its substantial transportation needs, we will be forced to consider a interchanges similar revenue increase – probably in the next budget. BV • I-894 Bypass • State Highway Rehabilitation – about $800 million in total annual expenditures for smaller projects

• I-94 – from the Zoo across Waukesha County

Follow Jason on Twitter @JGCulotta Wisconsin Business Voice


ISSUE ADVOCACY Jim Pugh Vice President/Treasurer, WMC Issues Mobilization Council, Inc.

Three Candidates Jockey for High Court Seat Bradley is the Judicial Traditionalist in the Race


n April 2016, Wisconsin voters will decide the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court for years to come. The business community’s policy victories – from Right to Work to lawsuit reform – hang in the balance. Fortunately, the public will have a clear choice in the February primary as Appeals Court Judge Rebecca Bradley, a Milwaukee judicial traditionalist, squares off against a Madison liberal judge and a Milwaukee County liberal judge.

The traditionally low-turnout February election will be high-stakes because it’s possible two judicial activists could emerge and secure a liberal seat on the court in the April general election.

Justice Patrick Crooks, who typically votes with the liberal bloc, announced his retirement in September. His seat will be filled by the voters in the April election. The Wisconsin Supreme Court currently has a 4 to 3 conservative majority. That majority control of the court is critically important to businesses and the general public because the high court is a precedent-setting, policy-making court on matters of state Constitutional law. In 2005, the high court took a decidedly activist turn and set aside liability limits passed by the Legislature. WMC waged issue advocacy campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of judicial activism. In 2008, the public rejected a judicial activist – Justice Louis Butler – to establish a conservative majority on the high court. The conservative majority has upheld Gov. Scott Walker’s public employee union reforms and other pro-growth reforms supported by WMC. Additionally, the high court shut down the unconstitutional John Doe investigation of conservative groups in 2015. Currently, there are three candidates who want to replace Justice Crooks:

• Milwaukee-area Appeals Court Judge Rebecca Bradley is the leading conservative for the high court. Bradley was appointed


by Gov. Walker to serve on the appeals court in 2015. Walker appointed her to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in 2012, and she won election in the traditionally liberal county. She worked in private practice for 16 years and is active in the Federalist Society, an organization seeking reform of the current American legal system in accordance with an originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Judge Bradley received her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1996 and earned an Honors B.S. in Business Administration and Business Economics in 1993 from Marquette University where she received the Economics Faculty Award. Judge Bradley was born in Milwaukee and has lived in the community her entire life.

• Madison-area Appeals Court Judge Joanne Kloppenburg is a Madison liberal who almost defeated Justice Prosser in 2011. Kloppenburg enjoyed strong support from government worker unions in the aftermath of Gov. Walker’s public employee union reforms. During the campaign, Kloppenburg said “I never said I was tough on crime. Tough on crime is not my message.” She is a former government environmental lawyer. A Connecticut native, Kloppenberg received degrees from Yale and Princeton and a law degree from UW-Madison.

• Milwaukee County Judge Joe Donald has been a Milwaukee County judge since 1996 and has presided over 350 jury trials in criminal and civil law. He has been raising his campaign funds from personal injury lawyers and criminal defense attorneys.

For the business community, this Supreme Court race in 2016 will be critical. Will the public secure a traditionalist majority or return to the days of activism? The business community’s policy victories such as Right to Work legislation and lawsuit reform are at stake. WMC will not sit on the sidelines – we will use issue advocacy to educate the public about the serious policy matters that will come before our Supreme Court and urge the public to sound off on judicial activism. BV

MADE IN WISCONSIN Bemis Company, Inc.

One Neenah Center, 4th Floor Neenah, WI 54957 (920) 527-5000 Year Established: 1858 www.bemis.com

Whether it’s for yourself or your kids, packing a lunch that is easy and convenient in the morning is essential. Bemis Company, headquartered in Neenah, focuses on making flexible packaging for customers who produce products found in nearly every grocery aisle. Bemis operates 60 facilities in 11 countries investing two-thirds of its focus on the food industry, while also investing in medical, pharmaceutical, chemical and agribusiness industries. With their main North American manufacturing hub in Oshkosh, Bemis produces everything from microwavable to-go boxes to complex healthcare packaging and never shies away from constantly innovating and improving their products. They are using their knowledge to create packaging solutions that increase shelf-life, deliver convenience, provide sterility and add value to all their customer’s brands.

The Master Lock Company A back-to-school list essential: locker locks. Master Lock leads the industry of keeping things safe. Founded in 1921 and headquartered in Oak Creek, Master Lock is the largest global manufacturer and marketer of padlocks. From helping Harry Houdini with lock escapes to dedicating production support during World War II, and even introducing the world’s first set-your-own combination lock, Master Lock leads the industry in innovation. As a company, they strive for quality and compelling value when providing security solutions.

Skana Aluminum Company

2009 Mirro Drive Manitowoc, WI 54220 (920) 482-0599 Year Established: 2009 www.skanaaluminum.com

137 W. Forest Hill Avenue Oak Creek, WI 53154 (800) 464-2088 Year Established: 1921 www.masterlock.com

As the Midwest’s largest aluminum rolling mill, Skana Aluminum Company has a reputation for its unique deep drawability of aluminum alloys. Located in Manitowoc, Skana produces aluminum coil, circles and blanks that service many industries including cookware and bakeware, automotive, transformer and windings, military and OSB. As a direct chill aluminum mill Skana can serve both OEM and distribution customers. They revitalized a formerly shuttered facility and now employ 200 people in Manitowoc and Clarksburg, WV touting “Making Friends is Our Mission” as their mission statement.

Exact Sciences Exact Sciences, a Madison-based company, is committed to playing a part in eradicating colorectal cancer. Through cooperation with many accredited partners, Exact Sciences was able to produce and implement a FDA-approved technology. Cologuard is an easy to use, noninvasive colon cancer screening test. Through advanced and targeted DNA technology, Cologuard is able to find elevated levels of cancerous or pre-cancerous abnormal cells. Finding 92 percent of cancers, 42 percent of pre-cancers and a specificity of 87 percent, Exact Sciences and their products are truly taking giant leaps in the fight against colon cancer.

441 Charmany Drive Madison, WI 53719 (608) 284-5700 Year Established: 1995 www.exactsciences.com

Didion Milling: A Champion for Energy Efficiency in Wisconsin A s Wisconsin joins the nation in celebrating October Energy Awareness Month, it’s an opportune time to acknowledge one Wisconsin business that has been a longtime champion of energy efficiency and sustainability.

Didion Background

Didion Milling, Inc. is a family owned corn milling business located in Wisconsin’s heartland, with locations in Johnson Creek, Cambria and Markesan. For more than 40 years, under the leadership of brothers John and Dow Didion, the company has been storing, milling, fermenting and transporting corn products worldwide.

years, Didion has partnered with organizations like Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, to achieve its strategic vision of producing cleaner and greener products.

Partnership with Focus on Energy and the U.S. Department of Energy

Since partnering with Focus on Over the last four Energy, Didion has applied for and decades Didion has received energy efficiency incentives, loans and countless hours of become a recognized energy and engineering expertise from Energy Advisors. Tapping leader in the industry, into Focus on Energy support, ranging from cost-shared studies converting the highest on process equipment to incentives for motors, lighting, pumps, quality, locally grown boilers, compressed air systems, and even a regenerative thermal corn into value-added oxidizer (RTO), Didion has set an industry standard for energy ingredients for a diverse efficiency best practices. portfolio of industries Over the course of their collaboration with Focus on Energy, the including food company has saved an estimated $3.2 million per year with an processing, breweries, annual energy savings total of nearly 14 million kilowattfoundries and more. Didion also manufactures food hours and six million therms of natural gas. ingredients for famine relief products for USDA That is enough energy to power 3,784 homes “The company has Title II Programs, which feed over 8 million is the equivalent of taking over 7,000 people per day in Third World countries. In 2006, saved an estimated $3.2 and cars off the road, which ultimately cuts more Didion broke ground on their ethanol facility million per year.” than 94 million pounds of CO2 emissions. which is widely respected as one of the most “Running a business, our capital is limited,” efficient and innovative ethanol plants in the world. said Dow Didion, President of Didion Milling. “The Sustainable ‘Philosophy’ incentives and technical expertise Focus on Energy provides has given us more flexibility to implement projects with shorter Perhaps the lesser known story is Didion’s continued commitment payback periods. I highly recommend the program and encourage to sustainability and environmental responsibility. The key to other Wisconsin businesses to see how Focus on Energy can help their success is utilizing every kernel of corn as part of its “waste them.” not” philosophy leveraging a high-efficiency production process that separates the corn kernel into fractions specifically suited Didion’s strides to reduce their energy intensity in order to for food products and ethanol production. For the past ten make ethanol a truly global energy solution helps reduce our country’s dependence on oil and offers a variety of economic and environmental benefits. Their efforts have created a win for Didion, a win for local farm suppliers, a win for consumers, a win for Wisconsin and a win for the U.S. BV


Company News Millions in Upgrades for Ariens

Ariens Company, a state-of-the-art outdoor products provider, is investing millions into a new upgrade of their product development facility at its Brillion headquarters to be completed in Fall 2018. This center will be the company’s hub for research, product development, engineering, testing, design and product validation for many Ariens brands by incorporating new processes and technologies. Exciting news for Ariens as this expansion will accommodate their growing product development area and help them maintain their reputation for cutting-edge products, while also attracting talented workers and business to Northeast Wisconsin.

Rebranding for Rocket Industrial

The Wausau-based company previously known as Packaging Tape, Inc. is rebranding to Rocket Industrial. They made the change because the company has gone well beyond their original product of packing tape. Adding experts to their staff, Rocket Industrial has been able to offer thousands of packaging and industrial supply products from many top brands. Rocket Industrial specializes in helping highperformance companies throughout the U.S. optimize packaging and automation processes by providing expertise across hundreds of best-in-class packaging and industrial brands.

Bretting Manufacturing Celebrates 125 Years

Founded in 1890 by Christopher George Bretting, Bretting Manufacturing is proud to celebrate 125 years of business. With today’s primary focus on designing and manufacturing tissue and towel equipment worldwide, Bretting is expanding their creativity and innovative solutions. With over 400 employees, the company, which spans over 280,000 square feet, supplies converting equipment and service to 39 countries involving 17 different languages.

Tyler to Become New Chairman of Governor’s CWI

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has announced S. Mark Tyler has been named the new Chairman of the reconstituted Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment (CWI). As Founder and President of OEM Fabricators, Vice President and Former President of the Wisconsin Technical College System Board of Directors, a past board member of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Wisconsin Technology Council, West Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, State Superintendent’s Technology and Engineering Advisory Council, and many more, Tyler is more than qualified to step into this role. His vast knowledge will aid him in recommending strategies to ensure our state maintains a top-notch talent pipeline and further fosters Wisconsin’s workforce.


YOUR ENE RGY FUTURE BEGINS W I T H P L A N N I N G T O D AY Electricity powers our world. Each day, light switches are flipped, computers are powered up and factories hum with activity. Electricity enables automation, convenience, productivity and opportunity. At American Transmission Co., we’re hard at work keeping the lights on and planning today for how the electric grid of our future will deliver reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible power.

Read more at www.atcllc.com/PowerForward

MONTH About Manufacturing Month: A Message from the State Partners


strong manufacturing industry is fundamental to Wisconsin's prosperity. The manufacturing sector was responsible for more than $55 billion worth of economic output in 2014 alone. To keep this industry thriving, the talent pipeline for manufacturing must remain strong, especially as retirements and expansion continue to create new employment opportunities.

We have worked hard to spread the message – to the current and next generation of workers – that a career in manufacturing is challenging, rewarding, and well-paying. The average pay for a manufacturing worker in Wisconsin is $54,400 per year, $10,000 per year higher than the average pay for Wisconsin private-sector workers. In addition, 84 percent of manufacturing workers in Wisconsin receive health insurance benefits through their employer, compared to 77 percent of all workers.

With more than 450,000 manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin, the state’s manufacturing job concentration is 87 percent above the national average. With $150 million invested in worker training, Wisconsin’s manufacturing workforce – one of the best in the nation – prepares to meet evolving industry demands through customized university and technical college training programs focused on productivity and workplace readiness.

As part of our continued efforts to increase awareness of the opportunities available in manufacturing, Gov. Walker has proclaimed October as Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin. The recognition gives us all the chance to reaffirm the importance of manufacturers to our state’s economy. 32

We encourage Wisconsin manufacturing employers to use Manufacturing Month as a means to host visits, tours, and other events for local students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and members of the community. These visits give people the opportunity to see the clean, high-tech and modern work environment the manufacturing industry offers today. To support these activities, a collection of resources is available online for employers, school districts and local organizations to host or take part in open houses or related events.

Together, we can make the most of this opportunity to recognize the manufacturing industry's impact in our state and ensure this important industry has the talent needed to propel Wisconsin’s economy. – Kurt Bauer, President/CEO, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

– Rick Chandler, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Revenue

– Tony Evers, PhD, State Superintendent, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction – Morna K. Foy, President, Wisconsin Technical College System – Tricia Braun, Deputy Secretary, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

– Reggie Newson, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development – Robert M. Meyer, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin Stout

– Buckley Brinkman, Executive Director, Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership

WMC at Home and on the Road * 1


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Cong. Jim Sensenbrenner (R – Brookfield) with WMC’s Kurt Bauer at a meeting in Milwaukee. The Wisconsin Safety Council visited Teel Plastics in Baraboo to honor their staff for winning a Wisconsin Corporate Safety Award.

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The WMC Foundation held its first annual golf outing in August at the newly redesigned SentryWorld in Stevens Point. A sold-out crowd of 144 enjoyed a panel presentation in the morning followed by a beautiful day on one of Wisconsin’s finest courses. Jay Timmons, President/CEO of National Association of Manufacturers appeared on Capital City Sunday with WMC's Kurt Bauer to discuss the impact of new EPA rules on the Wisconsin economy.




Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidate Judge Rebecca Bradley spoke to WMC’s Government Relations Council in September. She is pictured here (center) with John Casper, President & CEO of the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce; Andy Franken, Wisconsin Insurance Alliance; Brandon Scholz, President & CEO of the Wisconsin Grocers Association; and Bill Smith, Director of Government Relations for the National Federation of Independent Business.

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WMC hosted a roundtable discussion between employers and the Deputy Commissioner of Insurance to discuss health insurance costs. WMC staff participates in the United Way Day of Caring every summer. Some of this summer’s volunteers helped a very grateful Madison homeowner with some long-overdue yard work.


The Business World summer programs hosted nearly 300 high school students from around Wisconsin to learn more about the free enterprise system and the employment opportunities available in Wisconsin. Read p. 8 for more information on Business World.





Wisconsin Business Voice



Small Business Credit NOW Bill Will Help Small Businesses and Startups By Rep. Debra Kolste (D – Janesville)


mall businesses and business startups are the backbone of Wisconsin’s economy and a vital role in creating good-paying jobs for families across our state. Yet one of the most frequently expressed concerns we hear from small businesses is the difficulty they have securing financing needed to grow. Many new businesses fail due to lack of access to even a small amount of additional capital.

The majority party in the Assembly and Senate chose not to pass the bill through the full legislature when they had the opportunity to do so in the past, but I am encouraged by conversations I have had with Republicans who support the proposal. Unfortunately, Assembly Bill 62 still has not received even a public hearing this session. It is disappointing to me that even with Wisconsin ranking 38th in privatesector job growth over the past year and ranked dead last in the nation in new business startups, there is no sense of urgency on this issue.

Small Business Credit NOW grants will allow small businesses – with fewer than 25 employees or less than $5 million in gross receipts – to receive up-front grants in lieu of tax credits upon approval by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). And these tax credit grants would have no fiscal impact since the bill directs WEDC to allocate up to $8 million from the existing WEDC Economic Development Fund to support the program. In short, this bill will make state tax credits work for small businesses with no additional cost to Wisconsin taxpayers.

Representative Kolste represents Wisconsin’s 44th Assembly District in Janesville.

That’s why I have introduced legislation – Small Business Tax Credit NOW, Assembly Bill 62 – that would help small businesses take advantage of existing tax credits for business investments by offering them up-front as a grant.

In the past, both Democrats and Republicans have approved targeted tax credits to create incentives for business investment and expansion, and this bill deserves bipartisan support as well. In fact, it already has – Gov. Walker included this Democratic proposal in his call for a special legislative session on jobs in Fall 2011 and it passed committee on a bipartisan vote last session.


Early this year, my fellow Democrats and I put forward an Economic Opportunity Agenda – “15 Bills for 2015” – focused on investing in small businesses, connecting workers with available jobs, increasing wages and strengthening Wisconsin’s middle class. Helping create family-supporting jobs and encourage economic development have always been my top priorities as a legislator and I believe the Small Business Tax Credit NOW legislation would be a step in the right direction. I will keep working with my colleagues to advance this bill so we can get our great small businesses the support they deserve and need to put people to work, grow our economy and make Wisconsin stronger now and in the future. BV

VE REPORT Stemming Wisconsin's Brain Drain

By Sen. Duey Stroebel (R – Saukville)


n recent years, Wisconsin has seen a large exodus of college graduates seeking opportunities in other states. According to a study by UW-Madison Professor Morris Davis, on average the state lost roughly 14,000 college graduates per year between 2008 and 2012. Almost half of those who left were young adults between the ages of 21 and 24 who recently obtained degrees. To be sure, this loss of talent comes with consequences. This “brain drain” stunts entrepreneurial efforts, shrinks the tax base and ultimately hinders the state’s overall ability to innovate and grow economically. There is extensive evidence establishing that a city or state’s future economic prosperity is directly tied to its population of young, educated workers. In others words, it is crucial to retain the state’s best and brightest after graduation in order to maintain robust economic progress. This is especially true given that by 2020, 62 percent of jobs in the state will require a postsecondary degree, as reported by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. What makes our “brain drain” even more troubling is currently, thousands of unfilled jobs exist in the state because candidates lack the necessary education and/or skill set. As some job sectors decline, there has been a rapid uptick of available jobs in the technology industry and other skilled trade areas. Employers consistently point out that although job openings exist, the state is simply not doing its part to catch up with the demand. As a matter of fact, a study by ManpowerGroup Solutions shows the supply of people with skills and education simply does not match the demand companies have for those skills and education. There is a greater demand for people who have obtained associate or bachelor’s degrees than what the state currently has available.

who will shape the future of our great state. To accomplish this, my bill would restructure the current Academic Excellence Higher Education Scholarship, which is awarded to high school seniors statewide finishing at or near the top of their class. Untouched since the early 1990s, the program has become increasingly less effective in accomplishing its goal of keeping the best and brightest in the State of Wisconsin. Under the proposed changes, the scholarship amount would be increased to equal the tuition and fees of the in-state college or university attended, or to the tuition and fees of UW-Madison if the student attends a private university. The key, however, is that 50 percent of the award would be in the form of a traditional tuition scholarship, and the other half would be distributed to the student in the form of a tax credit that may be used to offset state income tax obligations for the first five years following graduation – but only if the graduate lives in Wisconsin and earns a majority of his or her income in-state.

Not only would this encourage our best high school students to stay in Wisconsin, it would also provide a financial incentive for these graduates to share and develop their talents in-state, benefiting everyone. Without a doubt, stemming the “brain drain” will require a multi-pronged effort from the business community, alumni associations and others, but as legislators we cannot sit idly by as thousands of our college graduates leave the state. BV Senator Stroebel represents Wisconsin’s 20th Senate District covering parts of Washington, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac and Calumet counties.

With these issues in mind, I recently unveiled a bill that seeks to entice the best and brightest high school students to remain here for college and ultimately, work here and lay down roots after graduation. Many of these students will be the next entrepreneurs, job creators, benefactors and leaders

Wisconsin Business Voice



Where’s the Falls? By Mike Jordan


he first question visitors ask when they come to Chippewa Falls is, “Where’s the Falls?” Chippewa Falls has always been known as a river town but the falls were covered in 1914 when a hydro-electric dam was built. After years of planning and thanks to private-public partnerships, the City of Chippewa Falls is opening the riverfront to visitors and businesses with a new Riverfront Development Project. Retaining the riverfront brand is a priority of the Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and the community.

The Chippewa River runs through the City of Chippewa Falls, yet you cannot see the river unless you are on a bridge. The City is now investing millions of dollars into its riverfront and positive impacts are being realized. The project will open access to the river and create a new entry into downtown. It will include walking and biking trails, fishing piers and a natural amphitheatre for community events.

It took years of planning and infrastructure improvements for this economic development project to become reality. The City is investing more than $10 million on the project and is quickly realizing a return on that investment as several new developments are already in place. The first was the construction of a new 21,000 sq. ft. office building for Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH). The architectural/engineering firm relocated its offices and 65 jobs to the riverfront. Their new offices overlook the Chippewa River and they now enjoy walking access to all downtown amenities. The Chamber has made it a priority to support the city by helping

CHAMBER FUN FACT Boulder Junction Musky Capital of the World Like the elusive fish itself, the title “Musky Capital of the World” is one that Boulder Junction had to fight to keep. Despite the claims of many resort communities, Boulder Junction is the true Musky Capital due to the 194 surrounding Class A Musky Lakes. After many legal battles, Boulder Junction was granted a patent and trademark premised on the vast number of muskies caught in their waters.


plan, educate and execute the redevelopment plan. The Chamber Board felt that in addition to advocating for this plan we should also be part of the development and invest in the project. The Chamber built a new state-of-the art visitor center and office building at the entrance to downtown. The new 5,000 sq. ft. facility overlooks the river and is the welcome mat for Chippewa Falls. In 2015 we hope to see more than 15,000 visitors and members utilizing the facility. More projects are currently under way due to the redevelopment. Later this year, Chippewa River Distillery and Brewster Brothers Brewing Company will open their newly renovated riverfront property adjacent to the new park. When selecting this site, the redevelopment plans that were in place were instrumental in their site selection. Raymond James Investments is also renovating a three story, 12,000 sq. ft. facility for their local offices. State and local funds have helped leverage private investment to make these projects a reality. Together, more than $8 million in private sector investment is under way and several more projects are being developed. Thanks to private-public partnerships, the riverfront brand will continue shaping Chippewa Falls and we anticipate more development will continue to enhance our downtown.

So come on over to see the exciting things happening in Chippewa Falls and join us for a Leinies! BV Mike Jordan is President of the Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.

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