April 2012: Issue 2
Official magazine of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce
Workforce Paradox: Whatâ€™s causing it and how do we fix it?
Inside: Mining Bill Fallout Congressmen Duffy & Kind: U.S. Debt & Deficit Business World for High School Students How Superior Lured Kestrel Aircraft
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BUSINESS VOICE In this issue
2 3 4 6 8 10
Policies Must Back President’s Pro-Manufacturing Rhetoric Kurt R. Bauer, WMC’s President/CEO, focuses on President Obama’s emphasis on manufacturing.
Outgoing Chair Kept WMC on Track
Tom Howatt, Chairman of Wausau Paper Corporation, shares his view on helping WMC through the past two years.
WMC Senior Vice President James Buchen talks about the real threat of recall elections in Wisconsin today.
Welcome (Back) to Apprenticeship
Rebecca Hogan, WMC’s Director of Health & Human Resources Policy, talks about reintroducing apprenticeship to today’s employers and workers.
Manufacturer of the Year Awards
Eight elite companies took home awards from the 2011 Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year awards ceremony in February.
Tucked away beneath the I-43/94 bridge on Milwaukee’s south side is a warehouse dedicated to helping inner-city homeowners refurbish their homes. But this little operation is doing much more than that. It’s giving jobs – and hope – to the people it serves.
Just the Facts, Ma’am, Just the Facts
James S. Haney, retired WMC President, laments the biased media and remembers the days of good journalism.
A Primer on Freight Rail in Wisconsin
Jason Culotta, WMC’s Director of Tax & Transportation Policy, discusses why rail is re-emerging as a cost-effective method for shipping goods.
Feature: Workforce Paradox: Solving the Skills Shortage Wisconsin, like other states, is experiencing a workforce paradox – high unemployment yet employers are unable to find the skilled workforce they desperately need to stay competitive. This feature article focuses on the people and communities who are leading the way to help solve the problem.
From the Mouths of Manufacturers: The Real Story Behind the Skills Shortage
24 26 28 30 32
Jobs: The Real Casualty of Mining Bill Defeat
From the Editor I had the pleasure of joining WMC Foundation President Jim Morgan on the road visiting some of the 50 communities in the state to delve into manufacturers’ concerns about finding skilled workers. As I sat in one of the final visits at the chamber office in Racine – my home town – I reflected on some of the comments we heard. In a small town in the mid-eastern part of the state, the manufacturers raved about the strong relationships they have with their local high school and how they work closely with area technical schools on training the next generation of manufacturers. At a meeting in southeast Wisconsin, a manufacturer lamented about a typical response he keeps hearing when offering an applicant a job: “Can you call me back in six weeks when my unemployment runs out?” And at another meeting, this one in the Fox Valley region, a group of manufacturers talked about trying to hire some of the 75 people just laid off from a neighboring town whose plant just closed, only to learn those people had already been offered jobs by other, faster-to-the-table employers. Another conversation included employers discussing the potential employees who were only willing to work a set number of hours because they would be “penalized” for working more with a loss of BadgerCare or child care supplement. So which is it – do people want to work, or don’t they? Are the very systems that were put in place to help people get back on their feet, actually the ones holding them back? Or are those benefits too good? I come from a family who values hard work, loyalty, and dedication. And I’m a generally positive person, so it’s hard for me to believe there are people who are blatantly abusing the system. Now I’m questioning my naivety. A good portion of this issue of Business Voice is dedicated to what WMC has termed “The Workforce Paradox” – high unemployment yet a shortage of skilled workers to fill open positions. We are embarking on a long-term strategy to help businesses solve their workforce shortages. Because I believe it is a solid plan, I remain upbeat and convinced that, together, we can help communities work together to find solutions that will work – including your own backyard.
WMC Foundation President Jim Morgan shares the impetus behind WMC’s plan to help solve Wisconsin manufacturers’ workforce shortage. Scott Manley, WMC’s Director of Environmental & Energy Policy, has the final word on the death of hundreds of jobs in northern Wisconsin.
Customized Safety Training
Janie Ritter, Director of Wisconsin Safety Council, discusses the importance of safety training for all employees, and the ease with which it can be done – right in your own facility.
Growing the Next Generation of Business Leaders
The Wisconsin Business World program has been around since 1982, teaching high school students and teachers the importance of the free enterprise system.
U.S. Debt and Deficit
U.S. Congressmen Ron Kind (D – La Crosse) and Sean Duffy (R – Weston) share their thoughts on the U.S. debt and deficit.
How Superior Lured Kestrel Aircraft
Dave Minor, President and CEO of The Chamber for Superior & Douglas County shares what it took to bring a major company to Superior.
Katy Ryder Pettersen Editor, Wisconsin Business Voice email@example.com
Wisconsin Business Voice is published quarterly by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), a statewide trade association 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. All other contacts should be sent to WMC, 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 Ryder Pettersen, Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) Jane Sutter, Designer (email@example.com)
Policies Need to Backup President’s Pro-Manufacturing Rhetoric Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO
he “Machine Tool Capital of the World” welcomed President Barack Obama in February. The President came to Milwaukee to promote “in-sourcing,” where manufacturers bring jobs back to the United States from overseas. During his visit, the President declared “Manufacturing is back.” With all due respect to the president, in Wisconsin, manufacturing never left.
It has been and continues to be Wisconsin’s largest business sector, accounting for 18 percent of GDP, 16 percent of total employment and 33 percent of all wages and economic output. Wisconsin has the second highest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. next to Indiana, and Milwaukee has the second highest concentration of heavy industry jobs behind Houston, Texas. WMC refers to manufacturing as Wisconsin’s “super sector” because it doesn’t just create jobs in factories. It also creates them in financial services, health care, transportation, energy, retail, education and even government. Manufacturing also remains the foundation of the middle class. It’s nice that manufacturing has been rediscovered by the President and other politicians. For too long, it has been dismissed as dumb, dirty and dangerous. It was viewed as part of the old economy and left for dead by some. Just a few years ago, a prominent Madison academic publicly referred to manufacturing as a relic of “a bygone era.” That widely held belief has contributed to the skilled workforce shortage by stigmatizing industrial jobs and, in the process, discouraging young people from pursuing manufacturing careers. But now manufacturing is fashionable again because people have finally realized we need to make things in America in order to protect our economic and national security. Far from being replaced by the so-called knowledge-based economy, manufacturing is an indispensable part of it. Innovation coupled with a highly skilled workforce is how the U.S. will compete in a global marketplace.
But strong headwinds remain. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) says the cost of production in the U.S. is 20 percent higher than in other industrialized nations, which means simply offering a few tax incentives for bringing jobs back from abroad isn’t going to cut it. The U.S. needs Washington to adopt many of the promanufacturing reforms already enacted here in Wisconsin under Governor Walker; reforms that lower the cost of production not just in one area, but across the board. This spring, Japan plans to lower its corporate tax rate. When they do, the U.S. will have the dubious distinction of having the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. The Small Business Administration estimates American businesses pay an incredible $1.7 trillion annually to comply with regulations. That cost will undoubtedly continue to rise given 4,000 new regulations are added each year. Overregulation, including the federal health care reform law, is diverting far too many resources away from job growth, innovation and capital improvements in U.S. manufacturing. One example is the Environmental Protection Agency’s war on fossil fuels, which threatens to dramatically increase the cost of energy. Wisconsin is disproportionately affected because of its reliance on coal. The U.S. also needs to reform its legal system to end the constant harassment of businesses from frivolous lawsuits. In Wisconsin, businesses pay an estimated $2 billion per year on legal fees and settlement costs. The bottom line is that while I applaud and welcome the President’s renewed focus on manufacturing, his policies need to match his rhetoric. He needs to listen to what manufacturers are telling him. Factory visits and speeches alone won’t bring manufacturing jobs back or grow them organically. But if we address the tax, regulatory and legal obstacles standing in the way of manufacturers, then we can truly unleash the sector’s economic multiplier effect and usher in what NAM calls a Manufacturing Renaissance. BV
Politicians also see the estimated 600,000 vacant manufacturing jobs nationally as a quick way to lower unemployment and accelerate an anemic economic recovery.
Follow Bauer on Twitter @Kurt_R_Bauer 2
Outgoing Chair Tom Howatt Kept WMC on Course By Becky Nelson
om Howatt’s nimble leadership and unflinching resolve have left a lasting impact on his company, his industry, and on Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.
Although he doesn’t feel retired just yet, Howatt is now Wausau Paper’s chairman of the board and remains focused on corporate governance and long-term strategy.
He brought his strategic thinking skills to the WMC board in 2005, overseeing an ambitious pro-business reform agenda, a monumental election cycle, and the hiring of the fifth CEO in WMC’s 101-year history. He served as chief champion of the Wisconsin Jobs for the Future Agenda, which called for spending restraint, tax relief, regulatory and legal reforms – all of which WMC has helped the state achieve. “In the five years that I’ve been in a leadership role with WMC, we’ve witnessed quite a transformation in the state’s business climate,” Howatt said.
Two years ago, Wisconsin’s business climate ranked in the bottom 10 percent of the nation.
Since then, Wisconsin has achieved historic improvement in the eyes of those who decide where to invest capital, Howatt said. “In my view, this will have long-term ramifications from a job creation
States that address the nationwide skilled worker shortage will have a tremendous competitive advantage over ones that don’t, which is why Todd Teske, WMC’s new chair, has made tackling that issue his top priority. Teske, Chairman, President & CEO of Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton Corporation, outlined his priorities for his two-year term during brief remarks at the WMC Board meeting in January.
He served as chair of the WMC Board of Directors for the past two years, during a time in which anti-business sentiment took on a new timbre in Wisconsin, echoing beyond Madison.
But it has been a satisfying term for Howatt, who recently retired after 32 years with Wausau Paper Corporation. He started in a senior administrative role, working at mills in Rhinelander and Wausau before moving to New Hampshire to lead operations there. He returned to Wausau in 1995 to lead the printing and writing division and became chief executive in 2000.
WMC Chair Outlines 2012-2013 Priorities
Todd Teske (left) with Tom Howatt at a WMC board meeting.
standpoint,” he said. “The key to this turnaround was the re-establishment of fiscal responsibility in state government. It’s simply a matter of living within our means.”
As the rhetoric at the Capitol incited differences, businesses large and small were united in dealing with the demands forced on them by the downturn – and Howatt’s was no exception. “The reality is, for every business, you have to change to meet evolving demand trends in your industry,” he said of the company’s decision last year to close its Brokaw mill.
Wisconsin has the workforce and resources to rise again, but “being average won’t get it done,” Howatt said. “We need to become a leader in attracting business investment and job creation. We need to sustain the gains.” He’ll remain a strong voice in business and education, continuing his work with the Wisconsin Paper Council, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, Purdue University Krannert School of Management Dean’s Advisory Council, the Woodson YMCA Foundation, and as past chair of WMC.
At Wausau Paper and WMC, Howatt has established a clear direction, turned over to capable hands. “I’ve always believed that leadership is responsible for articulating a clear, concise, compelling vision that people can embrace and they can work toward,” he said. BV
“Manufacturing has been and continues to be the core of familysupporting middle class jobs in Wisconsin,” Teske said. “But those jobs are threatened, not by economic conditions or even foreign competition. They are threatened by a shortage of skilled industrial workers to fill existing and expected job vacancies.” Teske said if left unaddressed, the worker shortage will become a crisis for manufacturers and ultimately for Wisconsin’s economy. “If Wisconsin doesn’t produce or attract the skilled workers needed for today’s advanced manufacturing, companies will be forced to look elsewhere.” Defending the remarkable progress made during 2011 to improve Wisconsin’s business climate is another priority for Teske. He specifically singled out the manufacturers’ tax credit, which will begin a three year phase-in in 2013, for recognition. “One thing everyone in our state should be able to agree on is the need for more good jobs that support families, create opportunities, and make communities strong.” Teske also said WMC should expand its federal advocacy efforts and grow the Business World® program for high school students, which teaches the principles and virtues of entrepreneurship and how the free enterprise system creates opportunity and wealth.
Nelson is a Madison-based freelance writer. Wisconsin Business Voice
Recall Politics: What’s at Stake June 5 By James Buchen, WMC Senior Vice President
istory will record 2012 as the year of the Wisconsin voter. There has never been an election year in which decisions by Wisconsin voters will so clearly affect the future course, not only of our state, but also the nation.
The “Wisconsin factor” in this year’s elections begins with the recall election of Governor Walker. The voters’ decision on June 5 will have national implications. A Walker loss will return Wisconsin to the path of bigger, more expensive government, ever higher levels of taxation, more regulation, and more “nanny government” protecting us from ourselves. Conversely, a Walker victory will allow the Governor to pursue his vision for a smaller, more efficient government dedicated to providing essential services at a reasonable cost. The nation is watching this one!
A Walker loss would be a serious blow to reform efforts nationwide. It would signal to elected officials around the country that taking on the public employees’ unions – limiting their power and reining in wasteful government spending – carries political risks that are just too great to bear. It would also signal to Congress that tackling deficit spending is a political loser at the ballot box. If Congress fails to address the nation’s debt crisis, we face a bleak future complete with economic and social turmoil. Can you say Greece? Voters will also be deciding which party controls the state legislature for the foreseeable future. First, control of
the state senate will be decided in the recall elections this spring followed by the state assembly in fall. Until Senator Pam Galloway (R-Wausau) announced her resignation in March, Republicans controlled the senate by only a one-seat margin. A loss of any one of the four seats being contested in the recalls will shift control. A Walker loss coupled with a shift in control in the legislature would pave the way for a fundamentally different agenda in Madison.
Democrats have outlined some of that agenda in recently introduced legislation and in a pledge from the leading Democratic challenger to Governor Walker. The legislative package includes a repeal of the manufacturer’s tax credit enacted just nine months ago, a new top income tax bracket of 8.75 percent, elimination of any preferential treatment for capital gains1, new employment regulations2, repeal of recently enacted regulatory reforms3 and indexing the minimum wage4 so it increases automatically every year. On top of all that, the leading Democrat in the governor’s race, Kathleen Falk, has pledged to veto the entire state budget unless it contains a repeal of Governor Walker’s collective bargaining reforms.
The unions, through massive campaign spending and political involvement, also substantially influence the election of government officials, from school boards, through the legislature and governor. In the end, that is why Democrats in the Senate abandoned their jobs and left the state in an ill-fated effort to protect union power. And, that is why the leading Democratic candidate for governor is willing to sacrifice the entire state budget to restore union power and advance the union agenda. On top of all that, Wisconsin voters will be deciding on a new U.S. senator and play a key role in determining the Republican nominee for president. The outcome of the senate race could very well determine which party controls the U.S. Senate in the next congress. The outcome of the presidential race will determine the future of our country and influence global decisions.
A Walker loss would be a serious blow to reform efforts nationwide.
The collective bargaining reforms were a critical step in the process of reining in government spending and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government services. Under the old paradigm elected officials were only partially able to manage the affairs of state and local government. They shared power with union leaders. As a result the unions played a key role in determining, not only the level of wages and benefits, but also who provided the benefits (the expensive teachers’ union health insurance trust), the kind of work
1AB637; 2AB350, AB578, AB344, AB436, SB246, SB249, SB309; 3AB389; 4AB281, SB187.
that would be done and who would do the work, how employees would be managed and disciplined, and many other elements of the basic functioning of government.
Wisconsin voters bear an outsized responsibility this year as they contemplate their decisions in the various state and national elections. Nothing short of the future of our state and nation is at stake. As business leaders we must be willing to shoulder our share of the burden in this process. That means providing the resources necessary for the candidates to get their message out and for WMC to help educate voters on the stakes in this election. But most importantly that means getting out and voting in the recall election on June 5 – our future is at stake! BV
Over 1,000 Attend Business Day Event B usiness Day in Madison, the state’s premier legislative event providing the business community with the opportunity to meet with legislators and hear from nationally known speakers, was held on February 16, 2012. Over 1,000 people attended the 10th annual Business Day in Madison, which was produced in partnership with 16 other state associations and more than 60 local chambers of commerce. The event began with a welcome reception the evening prior during which attendees had the opportunity to network with candidates for U.S. Senate as well as state cabinet secretaries.
their communities to help keep our state moving in the right direction. Many attendees wrapped-up the day by visiting their legislators’ offices in the Capitol.
Videos of all the speakers can be found at www.businessdayinmadison.com. Mark your calendar for February 13, 2013 for the next Business Day in Madison event at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. BV
Charlie Sykes, talk show host at WTMJ Radio in Milwaukee, served as emcee of the event which focused on the three E’s of America’s future: elections, energy and economy.
Robert Bryce talks to the more than 1,000 attendees about the myths of climate change.
Helping Wisconsin Manufacturers Compete for Over 50 Years Wisconsin Owned and Operated Engman-Taylor is an industrial distributor, servicing manufacturers, with a focus on integrated supply and lowering the overall cost to produce quality components. Our philosophy is simple; we strive to help you produce the highest quality components at the lowest cost.
Governor Walker addressed the crowd at Business Day in Madison after receiving a standing ovation.
The day began with political pollster and communications consultant Frank Luntz, who gave his insight on what’s on the minds of Americans as we head into the 2012 elections. Attendees then delved into a conversation about the future of energy with Robert Bryce, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Energy Policy and the Environment. Over lunch, Todd Bucholz, former White House Economic Policy Advisor, spoke about the economy in the age of President Obama.
To conclude the day, Governor Walker addressed attendees and reminded them to take the messages they heard back to
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C I T N E R APP Apprenticeship and the Skilled Workforce
By Rebecca Hogan, WMC Director of Health and Human Resources Policy Means, a legislator boldly stated, “I’m not hearing from my businesses about the need for apprentices, what they need is a skilled workforce.” I wish I had a dictionary with me at the time to share the definition of apprentice:
1. A person who works for another in order to learn a trade
ast year, along with the 100-year anniversary of the Wisconsin Manufacturers’ Association, Wisconsin celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Apprenticeship Program. For over a century, Wisconsin employers have used apprenticeship to provide on-the-job training and education opportunities to workers interested in a skilled trade. Employers benefit from using apprentices because it is a unique opportunity to train and educate a highly motivated individual to meet the very specific needs of the worksite. Yet this traditional and successful approach to training isn’t being utilized like in years past.
2. A person legally bound through indenture to a master craftsman in order to learn a trade 3. A learner, novice
4. A jockey with less than one year’s experience who has won fewer than 40 races
Okay, so the last one may not be helpful for the purposes of this article, but now you’ve got something to throw out during the Kentucky Derby next month!
By definition, apprentices are a natural component for developing the skilled workforce so many employers need. As the demand for labor increases, and our economy competes with not only states but countries from around the world, increasing apprenticeship may give Wisconsin a competitive advantage.
People need to be reintroduced to apprenticeship.
Over the last decade, the number of apprentices and employersponsored apprenticeships has decreased. The industrial sector, which includes manufacturing, has been hardest hit. At its most recent peak in 1999, the industrial sector had 2,603 apprentices; last July there were only 1,164. The construction and service sectors have also seen declines. While there are multiple facets to this issue, and the struggling economy is a significant one, I would like to address another component. People need to be reintroduced to apprenticeship. At a March public hearing of the Assembly Committee on Ways and 6
Employers benefit because they can build employee loyalty, better utilize training dollars, attract motivated candidates, and improve productivity. An apprentice benefits from on-thejob training, classroom instruction, and guaranteed wages. Additionally, an apprentice receives the nationally recognized certification upon completion, which allows for more mobility throughout his or her career. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to serve on the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Advisory
Council (WAAC). This advisory council to the Department of Workforce Development’s Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards has been leading this charge of reacquainting employers, potential apprentices, parents, educators, and local communities with this type of on-the-job training. Here are four of WAAC’s most important messages I would like to share: Apprenticeship
aids in recruitment and leads to higher retention rates and increased productivity
an industry-driven, customizable program, apprenticeship adapts to employers’ needs
experience strong returns after investing in an apprenticeship training program
opens doors to networking, provides access to best practices, and raises employees’ skill levels to industry standards
As the state focuses more attention on the skilled workforce shortage in Wisconsin, I ask that you consider these four points and take a strong look at the things registered apprenticeship has to offer. BV To learn more please visit http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/apprenticeship
Earn. Learn. Succeed.
Honoring Manufacturing Excellence in Wisconsin This February, eight Wisconsin companies were awarded a prestigious Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award, competing against 52 total nominees. The winners were announced at a black tie banquet at The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. Celebrating its 24th year, the MOTY program recognizes manufacturers of all sizes and industries for their contributions to the great state of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges representing industry, education, and the public sector.
The winners are: Grand Awards Generac Holdings, Inc., Waukesha - Mega Bell Laboratories, Inc., Madison - Large
Edstrom Industries, Inc., Waterford - Medium Waukesha Metal Products, Sussex - Small Linetec, Wausau - Sustainability
Special Awards Cambridge Major Laboratories, Inc., Germantown Investing Locally, Growing Globally Award KHS USA, Inc., Waukesha Educational Stewardship Award
Power Test Incorporated, Sussex Operational Excellence & Community Support Award
The annual awards competition is sponsored by:
Home (and Community) Improvement T
here is a spectrum to the workforce shortage in Wisconsin and elsewhere. One end of it is introducing people to the job market who, for multiple reasons, have had little or no previous work experience or training. These people often need to learn the very basics, including understanding what employers expect of them.
That’s where George Bogdanovich, CEO of West Allis-based PS Companies, comes in. PS Companies has 11 employees in drywall, and roughly 300 temporary workers in the marketplace. A successful entrepreneur and devout Christian, Bogdanovich is one of the founders of Community Warehouse, a 20-employee home improvement store located in Milwaukee’s troubled central city.
George Bogdanovich, founder of Community Warehouse, employs more than a dozen hard-working people at the warehouse, many with checkered pasts. He and his partners work with police and community leaders to help inner city Milwaukee homeowners rebuild their homes – and their lives.
Upon first look, the business concept seems simple; offer economically distressed patrons deeply discounted home improvement materials, including hardware, paint, furniture, and building fixtures. But Bogdanovich also hires people from the community, some of whom have had a checkered past, including run-ins with the law.
For some of its employees, Community Warehouse offers a second chance. For others, it’s their first work experience. But all receive a real-world education in the workplace and a chance to both prove and improve themselves. Since it opened in 2005, it can claim many successes.
“This isn’t a pity party,” Bogdanovich said. “Our employees have to want to be here. They have to want to work. That’s what we expect because that’s what the real world expects.” Often times, charity driven organizations produce more individuals that are dependent on that particular wellintentioned charity. The Community Warehouse model is a little different, and it shows in their desire to produce long term development in the community. These employment opportunities allow the community the ability to strive for self-sufficiency, and have the residents of the community become the developers.
Recently, Bogdanovich decided to expand the Community Warehouse concept to exposing the same demographic, which is mostly African American, to basic manufacturing and assembly. He is actively seeking businesses that outsource these types of functions to become clients. “We can be price competitive, while also offering training and, most importantly, employment to people in the community plagued with 50 percent joblessness,” Bogdanovich said. “It’s the logical next step in giving people the skills and opportunity necessary to build a better life.”
“There is no question that our heart’s desire is to serve those in need of that one opportunity to garner gainful employment. More than that, we aren’t trying to create a charity driven organization but rather a business model that fosters life transformation through employment initiatives and opportunities for the never-employed and unemployed. Employment brings a self-dignity that most of us take for granted with our careers; that sense of accomplishment on a daily basis we personally experience.” BV Companies interested in working with Bogdanovich on contract services can contact him at (414) 276-6689.
1. Jacob Maclin, the store’s general manager, spent eight years in prison for dealing drugs on the streets of Milwaukee. While in prison he read 1,800 books and has spent the last four years rebuilding his life thanks to the Community Warehouse. Jacob is the first in his family to hold a job. 2. Dewanda Jones tracks the store’s inventory. 3. A regular customer of the Community Warehouse proudly shows pictures of her remodeled home to Business Voice editor Katy Pettersen. The customer did all of the tile and cabinetry work herself, having learned how from Jacob, the store’s manager. 4. Roy Chavez, paint manager, takes pride in his orderly aisle of paint supplies, and in helping Community Warehouse customers.
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Now, more than ever —
Manufacturing^ Matters! One day designed just for busy manufacturers
Wednesday May 9, 2012
LEARN. CONNECT. CELEBRATE. New Tracks
f Food & Feed
Panels of leaders, experts and manufacturers feature executives who have approached issues creatively, including: f Improving Wisconsin’s Talent Supply featuring Reggie Newson, Daniel Clancy and Jim Morgan
f A “State Government Listening Post”staffed by representatives of the WEDC, DNR, DSPS and DOT who will be on-hand to answer your specific questions and hear your feedback about how to grow Wisconsin Manufacturing
f CFO of the Year Panel
f e-Business f Regulatory/Legal Updates f Capital/Finance f Two tracks on innovative ways to attract, retain and train skilled employees
f Non-traditional Talent Sources Panel f “Ask the Expert” - sign up for 20-minute one-on-one sessions featuring John Scocos with experts in finance, law and f State Agency Business Assistance more! & Regulatory Update featuring representatives from DOT, DNR and WEDC
f Innovation track featuring authors Adam Hartung and Sarah Miller Caldicott
f “Talent Management Discussion Groups” feature session panelists, presenters and manufacturers discussing issues and solutions to the skilled worker shortage
f Meeting the Challenges of Food Processing featuring Wisconsin food processing executives
f Join your peers at a reception to enjoy refreshments, drawings and networking
f Quick Response Manufacturing presentation and discussion by executives who’ve implemented QRM
Remarks by Governor Scott Walker plus . . .
former CEO of Bucyrus and special consultant for business and workforce development for the state of Wisconsin
President and CEO of Generac Holdings Inc., awarded Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year in the “Mega” category
www.manufacturingmatters.org Register Now! Wednesday, May 9, 2012 Frontier Airlines Center, Milwaukee Check out World Trade Day on May 8th & save on registration for both events.
Just the Facts, Ma’am, Just the Facts By James S. Haney, Retired President & CEO of WMC
ne of the more enjoyable activities in retirement is having the time to read a newspaper rather than skim it for a few articles of interest. That joy is diminished when you realize today’s papers are not much better than the partisan screeches that dominate cable news networks or the highly opinionated “reports” that routinely show up as network “news.” While retirees pining about the “good old days” is pretty boring in our fast-paced society, and at the risk of violating Governor Dreyfus’ sage advice to “never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel,” I do mourn the loss of good, honest, investigative reporting. I miss the kind of journalism that laid out the facts and the consequences of those facts without tainting them with the biases of the reporter, the network or the editorial board. Rather than report on the social, economic, athletic, and political foibles of the day and move on, today’s journalists appear to have a compelling urge to embellish the facts with adjectives and opinions more apt to be from a blog or Wikipedia than from actually talking to the principal in the story. The regurgitation of old “news” as new “news” is justified by claims of financial pressures that prohibit the hiring of adequate staff. But the result is that simply seeing who authored the article is enough for most of us to know what is coming.
The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan hit it squarely when he said “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
A good case in point would be the current media handling of the recall elections. An interesting news story would examine the recall laws, report on how the laws have been used or abused in the past, and analyze the mechanics of the process. Old investigative reporters would have gone ballistic to learn that citizens were not only signing duplicate petitions, but bragging about it. They would have exposed fraud if fraud existed. But instead of that we get negatively slanted stories about the motives of groups trying to keep the process fair and a media blind eye toward the agency that appears not to be doing a thorough job.
Another interesting story would be an in-depth analysis of the facts that launched the recall. What exactly is the “recallable offense?” Most fair-minded observers would conclude that the offense is a difference of opinion about public policy. There is a difference of opinion on almost every public policy, yet we have not historically attempted to recall those with whom we disagree. This is why we have elections. The column inches dedicated to criticisms leveled against Governor Walker greatly exceed the column inches dedicated to the Senators who abandoned their
posts – and might actually be more appropriately subject to recall for dereliction of duty.
The actions taken by the Governor and Legislature that have so outraged their critics have had limited time to work. But except for some begrudging recognition that reforms might be working by one leading editorial board, the papers have been pretty much devoid of facts that show they work or they don’t. Rather than dig out those facts, it appears that media has a fetish about just repeating the complaints by the Governor’s critics. And they repeat them in every story about the Governor whether germane or not.
Madison’s The Capital Times newspaper long ago reached the tipping point and makes no bones about having a progressive slant in every column whether news, editorial, opinion or blog. They are open and honest about it. We no longer expect objectivity. But is there hope among the other media outlets? Is there any chance someone will bring back the old Joe Friday line, “Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.” Wouldn’t that be nice? BV
Haney retired in 2011 after 27 years as President & CEO of WMC.
Haney Conference Room
WMC recently unveiled a new, state-of-the-art meeting room named the James S. Haney Conference Room in honor of WMC’s recently retired president & CEO. Jim’s tireless service throughout his 27-year tenure helped establish WMC as the leader of the Wisconsin business coalition. The meeting room features industrial photos dating back to early days of manufacturing in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Business Voice
T R O P S N TRA
A Primer on Freight Rail in Wisconsin By Jason Culotta, WMC Director of Tax and Transportation Policy
industry norm. Intermodal containers for international shipping are already common. Wisconsin passed a law last year allowing sealed containers for international trade to originate in Wisconsin. Previously these loads were first delivered to Illinois or Minnesota. This law will help Wisconsin exporters while placing more freight on rail.
ince joining WMC last summer, I have had the opportunity to monitor freight rail use in Wisconsin. While thought to have been eclipsed by the rise of highways in the mid-20th Century, shipping freight by rail is reemerging as a cost-effective method for shipping goods.
The railroad industry was overburdened with regulation and in decline until Congress enacted a deregulation plan in 1980 called the Staggers Act. Today, seven large Class I railroads have grown to dominate the industry, with numerous Class II regional railroads and Class III shortline railroads also serving local markets. Shipping by rail costs less than by truck, but rail is not as versatile (trucks can go where there are no tracks) and is often less competitive when hauling shorter distances. Wisconsin is served by four “Western” Class I railroads: Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Canadian National (CN), Canadian Pacific (CP), and the Union Pacific. In addition, one Class II railroad, Wisconsin & Southern, operates in Wisconsin along with three shortlines: the Escanaba & Lake Superior, Progressive Rail, and the Tomahawk Railway. The state Department of Transportation’s railroad map, found at www.dot.wisconsin.gov/ localgov/docs/railmap.pdf is a valuable tool when discussing the topic. So why the increasing use of freight rail? Standard-sized containers for transporting cargo are becoming the
The projected expansion in containers for domestic trade is just beginning to happen. Generating a sufficient volume of containers to interchange with blocks of rail cars both between the Eastern and Western Class I’s and with smaller railroads is the biggest challenge. The Eastern Class I railroads, CSX and Norfolk Southern, have developed a regional distribution system based on intermodal terminals that utilizes the complementing advantages of trucks and rail. While CN recently opened an intermodal facility in Chippewa Falls, only one other such public facility exists in Wisconsin, operated by CP in Milwaukee. A terminal like that located near Green Bay would better connect shippers in Northeast Wisconsin to domestic and foreign markets.
Changes in the over-the-road trucking industry are also contributing to the increased use of rail for domestic freight. Federal rules requiring electronic onboard recorders, sleep apnea testing, and limits on the hours of service truck drivers pose significant challenges to the trucking industry along with high fuel costs and a shortage of drivers. In addition to these national trends, there are some specific to Wisconsin, resulting in greater demand for freight rail. The frac sand boom in central and western Wisconsin requires significant rail resources to transport that product to market. Opportunities to haul timber from our forests to mills abound, but a stronger role for rail has yet to be realized. Finally, the massive CREATE
project in Chicago is removing obstacles causing traffic congestion there, benefitting Wisconsin. (Read more about the CREATE project at www. createprogram.org)
Public policies can help Wisconsin shippers take further advantage of freight rail. We should first preserve existing rail corridors. Given the industry trend of increasing volumes in freight rail demand, maintaining rail corridors is a priority if we are to keep the best transportation options available. Once these corridors are lost, they are gone forever. The time is coming when former rail lines placed in the Rails-to-Trails program or used as another recreational trail will be needed in active rail service again. Passenger rail enthusiasts should note the historic rail route from Milwaukee to the Twin Cities that ran through Madison included a segment from Reedsburg to Camp Douglas. This is now a trail. Effort must be made to determine how a “rail-with-trails” program would function. Construction across the corridors currently preserved as recreational trails should also be prevented.
The state’s Freight Rail Preservation Program (FRPP) must also be maintained. While Class I’s generally avoid government support, smaller railroads have significant difficulties like outdated bridges and track deficiencies that are very costly to meet. FRPP allows rail access to those Wisconsin companies located on older lines not served by Class I’s.
It is critical that Wisconsin maintain a strong transportation infrastructure of highways, railroads, and ports to serve our industry. The connection of shipping freight, to economic development, to providing jobs, is well demonstrated by our freight rail system. BV
Aetna disability — the smarter way to workplace wellness. Your employees are the backbone of your business. Help them get back to work safer, faster and healthier with Aetna disability insurance coverage. For more information please contact your insurance broker or: Russ Cain, Director Member Insurance Services, WMC 800.236.5414 or Kate Palm, Sr. Sales Executive, Aetna 612.418.2607.
Disability insurance plans are offered and/or underwritten by Aetna Life Insurance Company (Aetna). This material is for information only and is not an offer or invitation to contract. An application must be completed to obtain coverage. Disability insurance plans contain exclusions and limitations. Information is believed to be accurate as of the production date; however, it is subject to change. For more information regarding Aetna plans, refer to www.aetna.com. Policy forms issued in OK include: GR-9/GR-9N and/or GR-29/GR-29N. ©2012 Aetna Inc. 2012020
The first Worker’s Compensation Symposium for 2012 was held on March 27 at the Country Springs Hotel & Conference Center in Pewaukee. Presentations included an update on Wisconsin WC laws, best practices when dealing with WC claims, and the employer’s role in managing WC claims.
Decision 2012 Series Proud Sponsor
Two more symposiums are planned later in 2012. If you have questions regarding this symposium or about attending future conferences, please contact Rebecca Hogan, (608) 258-3400. Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Law — A Handbook for Employers is a must-have reference for HR professionals, business owners, claims managers, insurers, government officials and anyone else dealing with Worker’s Compensation issues. Written in a clear, concise and easy-to-use format by experienced employment and worker’s compensation attorneys, this publication will prove to be a valuable resource for everyone who works with the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation System. Visit www.wmc.org to order your copy.
Decision 2012 is a WMC series that will provide high-level public policy programming to Wisconsin’s business community. The Decision 2012 Series will take on the tough issues that confront your business and our nation with leading experts, candidates and policymakers.
U.S. Representative Paul Ryan
Monday, April 9
8:30 – 10:30 a.m. “A Shining City on a Hill … or Greece?” Congressman Paul Ryan discusses “Debts, Deficits & America’s Future.”
Thursday, May 3
7:30 – 9:00 a.m. Candidates for Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate seat will discuss jobs and the economy, and their ideas to foster recovery. Each event is $35 per person, and will be held at the Milwaukee Athletic Club.
Visit www.wmc.org or call (608) 258-3400 for more information and to register.
Wisconsin Business Voice
T U L SO 16
S N O I T WORKING ALL THE ANGLES
Wisconsin manufacturers coordinate efforts to overcome the workforce shortage By Becky Nelson
There’s no single right answer to the question that grips manufacturers as they gear up for post-recession growth.
How to best convey the rewards of a career in advanced manufacturing, and to recruit and train talent, is an issue that vexes industry leaders in Wisconsin and throughout the country. In the U.S. some 600,000 skilled manufacturing jobs remain vacant, even with unemployment rates around 9 percent. That’s why WMC has dubbed the problem the “Workforce Paradox.” Wisconsin is feeling the impact even more acutely as the state with the second highest concentration of employment in manufacturing in the nation.
A total of 12,506 manufacturers here employ 445,000 workers.
Hundreds more could be working in highly skilled, good-paying jobs right now, if not for the gap that exists between demand and available talent.
Throughout the state, manufacturers, K-12 educators, technical college and university staff, chamber of commerce leaders, workforce development and economic development professionals and others are not standing by, waiting for a solution. Instead, they’re working together to improve the industry’s image as a career, refine effective approaches to education and training, and accelerate the number of qualified candidates in the pipeline. Adding urgency to their mission is the pace of retirements in manufacturing.
It’s a clear call to action for many more to get involved.
Laying the Groundwork
“We started hearing more from our members last fall. They said, ‘How can we have an eight percent unemployment rate, yet we can’t find skilled workers?’ ” said Jim Morgan, president of the WMC Foundation. Morgan contacted WMC’s chamber of commerce partners looking for insight. Within two days more than 50 confirmed the growing problem, kicking off a series of listening sessions around the state. To date, more than 300 manufacturers have participated in 50plus sessions to talk about their workforce needs and how to prepare for the future.
“The first thing is just attitude, to find people that actually want to come into a manufacturing environment.”
“One manufacturer said, ‘We’ve got the equipment, we’ve got the orders, we’ve got the facility – we just don’t have the people.’ That’s what is limiting their ability to grow,” Morgan said.
Dan Conroy has spent the last 24 years at Webster-based Nexen Group, Inc., working on ways to address the workforce skills gap. “We as manufacturers, because we’re too busy doing work, don’t do a good job of promoting our companies and most importantly, our careers,” he said. He calls it “industrial camouflage.”
Wisconsin Business Voice
“People drive by our building and they just see a large metal building with nice brick accents,” said Conroy, vice president of human resources at Nexen. “When we have in-services for teachers, they’re blown away by the technology we have, the incredible capabilities of the equipment, the intellect and skills of our employees and the IT systems that we have.”
The three key areas of Nexen’s outreach start with partnerships with education, including teacher in-services, job shadowing and classroom presentations, and funding for programs such as Tiger Manufacturing, a school-based industry run by students at Webster High School. Second is branding the company with community and regionals groups, including Gold Collar Careers, an initiative Nexen helped establish. The manufacturer-sponsored web portal connects young people with career information, success stories and resources. At the same time, Nexen continually seeks opportunities to get its message to students, civic groups, and the public – for example, reaching out to Wisconsin Public Radio and advertising in local media.
S. Mark Tyler, president of OEM Fabricators, Inc. in Woodville, co-founded Gold Collar Careers in 2004. At the time, technical colleges and universities struggled to fill manufacturing programs. Gold Collar Careers changed that and continues to serve as a way to share opportunities with students, parents and dislocated workers, Tyler explained.
As his company continues to expand, OEM staff is working with the Baldwin Woodville School District and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College to develop a manufacturing track for high schools students. According to the plan, students will start working part-time in an OEM facility as juniors. Students eventually will work 20 hours a week to earn benefits such as tuition reimbursement for technical college, resulting in fully trained workers in a shorter timeframe.
OEM Fabricators also sponsors the Science, Technology and Engineering Preview (STEP) at the University of WisconsinStout, a summer camp where middle school girls design, manufacture and pilot radio-controlled boats.
Investing in Education
Ariens Company in Brillion had 250 jobs open within the past year, most of them entry-level assembler or machinist positions. “It’s getting that first wave of people in,” said Dan Ariens, president and CEO. “Once we get people, we’re pretty good at developing and growing them into welders and machinists and more skilled manufacturing.” But even entry-level help is hard to find. “The first thing is just attitude, to find people that actually want to come into a manufacturing environment,” he said.
To meet short-term needs, Ariens Company has hired temporary help from area prisons. “When we got into a bind, we discovered the work release program. It actually turned out to be really good for us,” Ariens said. 18
WMC Foundation President Jim Morgan, top right, listens to manufacturers during one of WMC’s 50-plus listening sessions on the workforce shortage problem.
But the company also has invested in long-term solutions. In 2006, the Ariens Company Foundation funded the construction of a $1.5 million Technology & Engineering Education Center at Brillion High School. This updated “shop” curriculum reflects current manufacturing technology trends, attracting three times as many students as in the past. In northeast Wisconsin, a new mobile technology center will visit 10 schools each semester. The Computer Integrated Mobile Manufacturing Lab features a CNC mill, a CNC lathe, 13 computers and a SMART board. Students can earn dual high school and college credit in the lab, which is the brainchild of the Northeast Wisconsin (NEW) Manufacturing Alliance, started in 2006. In the region, where 23 percent of all jobs are in manufacturing, 45 percent of employers can’t find qualified help, said Ann Franz, strategic partnerships coordinator for Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and coordinator of the NEW Manufacturing Alliance.
The Alliance launched All Stars magazine, which features profiles of young Wisconsin professionals working in advanced manufacturing. Some 20,000 copies of the magazine are distributed to parents and young people through schools and job centers. NEW Manufacturing Alliance also co-sponsored a documentary, “Manufacturing the Future,” which aired on PBS stations last June. Educators can go online to access lesson plans and accompanying segments from the film.
Last fall, the alliance invited teachers from seven districts to attend a half-day Manufacturers and Education Summit. The goal: to show educators how math relates to real life. Another event, the Manufacturing First Expo and Conference, attracts nearly 500 attendees, 70 exhibitors and significant media attention each year. There’s help for dislocated workers, too – they can complete a job seeker profile on the alliance website, Franz explained.
The skills gap has the potential to stifle growth in Milwaukee, which has 15.5 percent of its workforce in manufacturing.
More than 5,000 production positions remained unfilled in the area, according to a Metropolitan Milwaukee Area Chamber of Commerce (MMAC) program held last October. According to the Closing the Manufacturing Skills Gap Project – a collaboration between MMAC, Milwaukee 7 (M7), the Waukesha County Business Alliance and manufacturers – there were 757 open welder and machinist jobs open in 2011, expected to grow to 1,860 in 2018. Training needs have been a focus of MMAC and M7. Working with Second Chance, they conducted a survey to identify specific skills sets needed for basic manufacturing jobs, as well as for welding and machining – both on Day 1 and within 90 days of employment.
Many other manufacturers, non-profits and government entities in Milwaukee are working on their own solutions. It’s a process not without its frustrations, as expressed at the February 24 WMC Focus on Manufacturing panel discussion in Milwaukee. During an exchange about area companies working to attract the necessary talent, Rich Meeusen, Chairman, President & CEO of Badger Meter in Milwaukee, pointed out that the high-paying, low-skill jobs are gone, but the high-paying, high-skill jobs remain. However, those positions come with higher expectations, too. He noted Badger Meter feels strongly about its role in providing family-supporting, good Wisconsin manufacturing jobs. “I will say that I don’t believe it’s my job to create employment for high school dropouts,” Meeusen said. “It’s the government’s job and the family’s job to figure out how to keep kids from dropping out.”
very easy for a manufacturer to understand where they go to get resources – not only on hiring and finding talent, but on messaging that they can use around careers in manufacturing?” Those involved say the workforce problem requires local solutions, with regional or state coordination.
Working in coordination with entities such as the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, WMC will take a lead role in sharing best practices; launching a new campaign to improve the image of manufacturing careers; and acting as a consultant as public and private institutions lay out career pathways for young people and dislocated workers. To kick off these efforts, WMC hosted a conference on March 15 in Madison, “The Workforce Paradox: Wisconsin Solutions,” to help develop partnerships, share best practices and identify next steps. Nearly 300 people from around the state attended the conference, including representatives from industry, education, associations and government entities.
Still, manufacturers cannot afford to wait. Change needs to start within each community, with something as simple as a phone call to a local school administrator, Nexen’s Conroy said. “Promoting manufacturing is not a spectator sport,” he said. “It’s not for someone else to do.” BV Nelson is a Madison-based freelance writer.
“There is that sense of, ‘Who’s leading this? Who’s in charge?’ ” said Shelley Jurewicz, vice president-economic development for MMAC and M7. “Is there a way that we can better coalesce the activity, both at the local and regional level, so it’s
Resources and Partnerships
While not a comprehensive list, the following resources and partnerships are among those in Wisconsin that are addressing the issue of the workforce skills gap and training for careers in advanced manufacturing. Dream It Do It® www.dreamit-doit.com Gold Collar Careers www. goldcollarcareers.com KnowHow2Go www. knowhow2go.org Project Lead the Way-Wisconsin www.pltwwi.org Project Return www. projectreturnmilwaukee.org Second Chance www. secondchancepartners.org STEPS Camp www. uwstout.edu/steps Wisconsin Career Pathways www. wicareerpathways.org Wisconsin Job Centers www. wisconsinjobcenter.org Wisconsin Worknet www. worknet.wi.gov
WMC President/CEO Kurt R. Bauer, moderates a panel during WMC Foundation’s Workforce Paradox Conference in Madison on March 15. Panelists include (left to right) Mark Tyler, President of OEM Fabricators, Inc.; Daniel Clancy, President, Wisconsin Technical College System; and Sharon Wendt, Career & Technical Education Director, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
WISTEM www. wistem.org
Wisconsin Business Voice
E C R O F K OR W From the Mouths of Manufacturers By Jim Morgan, WMC Foundation President
economic development organizations and our common sense approach to solving problems. And that is a good thing!
t one of the more than 50 manufacturers’ listening sessions WMC conducted this winter, a Beaver Dam executive summed up Wisconsin’s workforce paradox very succinctly – “People are my pacing item!” His point was simple – the issue dictating the pace of growth in his business is not a capital problem, it is not an equipment problem, it is not a capacity problem. It is a human resources problem. I listened to more than 75 hours of testimonials from Wisconsin manufacturers as they laid out their hiring difficulties, pointed out flaws in the current system, and openly blamed themselves for not doing a better job of telling the powerful story of manufacturing in this state and the pride of working in the industry. It was at times simultaneously disheartening and invigorating!
About half way through my tour of Wisconsin – perhaps somewhere on Highway 10 between Neillsville and Marshfield – a few things began to come together, and by the time I picked up Highway 55 heading for Pulaski, the role WMC could play in this statewide initiative seemed clear.
Historically, Wisconsin has been a very parochial, locally controlled state. In the past, whatever Fond du Lac did, Oshkosh would do differently. The great idea from Chippewa Falls couldn’t be copied in Eau Claire. Janesville’s answer would have to be altered in Beloit. That has changed with the advent of regional
Another problem remains in terms of coordinating a statewide effort. We have seven regional economic development groups, 11 workforce investment boards, 12 Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESAs) and 16 technical college districts, and there is no congruency. While not an insurmountable issue, it certainly does not make things easier. With that as a backdrop, what came from a few thousand miles of travel and consultation with people smarter than me, are three core areas to provide statewide support to solving the workforce paradox. 1. Best Practices – there are great things going on throughout Wisconsin and those stories need to be told and shared
2. Public Awareness – the image of manufacturing in general, and manufacturing careers specifically, needs to be brought into the 21st century
15 during the Workforce Paradox Conference held in Madison. The event brought nearly 300 educators, business leaders and government officials together to foster better communication and cooperation among various stakeholders.
The good news in all of this is we have quickly identified our “pacing item.” We do not need years of research. We also have a rich history in manufacturing and a work ethic that, traditionally, has been the envy of the nation. We know how to do what needs to be done. So, imagine a Wisconsin where we have embraced manufacturing. Where we take pride in what we make. Where we value innovation and entrepreneurship. Where we encourage careers in industry. Where we promote and live up to our reputation for a solid work ethic. Where we understand the incredible opportunity that manufacturing jobs offer the next generation. Where human resources are no longer the pacing item. Now, imagine low unemployment, job creation, and a growing, healthy Wisconsin. BV
3. Community Assistance – the problem will not be solved by a decree from Madison, but from local leadership with access to experienced professionals who have developed business and education partnerships
The WMC Foundation officially launched its initiative to address the worker shortage and skills gap on March
Dan Ariens, President/CEO of Ariens Company in Brillion, shared the details of his partnership with Brillion High School during lunch at the Workforce Paradox Conference March 15 in Madison.
Staffing Solutions at Work. Last year alone, QPS made over 15,000 successful matches between Wisconsin employers and job seekers.
Wisconsin Corporate Safety Awards
Wisconsin is home to many companies leading the way in safe best practices. Each year, the Wisconsin Safety Council teams up with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to honor Wisconsinâ€™s safest companies. The 85 finalists and 14 winners will be honored at an awards banquet on Tuesday, April 17 during the Annual Wisconsin Safety & Health Conference and Expo in Wisconsin Dells.
Cost is $35 per person to attend the awards banquet. Visit www.wisafetycouncil.org to register, or call (800) 236-3400. This awards program is co-sponsored by:
2011 Winners Campbell Soup Supply Co. LLC, Milwaukee Colony Brands, Inc., Monroe Dillman Equipment, a division of Astec, Inc., Prairie du Chien GE Healthcare, Madison Georgia-Pacific Green Bay Broadway, Green Bay J.F. Ahern Co., Fond du Lac MAG â€“ IAS, LLC, Fond du Lac Phillips Medical, New Richmond Phillips Plastics Corporation - Operations Center, Eau Claire RGL Specialty Services, LLC, Green Bay Scheck Mechanical Wisconsin Corporation, Kaukauna Tweet/Garot Mechanical, Inc., Green Bay Viking Gas Transmission, Chippewa Falls/Osceola We Energies, Milwaukee
Wisconsin Business Voice
Withdrawal Liability: Don’t Overlook this Important Feature of Multiemployer Pension Plans By Timothy J. Herman, Consulting Actuary, Milliman
ultiemployer defined benefit pension plans are an attractive benefit providing pension portability for workers in unionized industries. Multiemployer plans allow union workers to switch jobs as needed and continue to earn retirement benefits. The plans also provide an advantage for employers—mainly the economies of scale commanded by a larger asset pool and the ability to share administrative expenses.
There is a potential downside, though, and this is called withdrawal liability. Following the down markets of 2008, all types of retirement plans had problems with underfunding.
Single-employer pension plans have a relatively straightforward path to remedying their underfunding: The actuary for the pension fund calculates assets and liabilities, pinpoints the exact amount of the shortfall, and recommends strategies for catching up. Businesses in multiemployer plans have less overall control. Contribution levels are set by collective bargaining and any recommendations by the actuary are presented to the fund’s board of trustees. Each multiemployer pension fund has a unique formula for calculating the share
of unfunded vested benefits that each participating employer is responsible for. If an employer decides to leave the fund entirely, or simply reduce its participation level (because of workforce attrition, plant closures, etc.), then this amount is its withdrawal liability. A client was recently in the process of acquiring a company that participated in a multiemployer plan and asked me to analyze the implications. After reviewing the background above, I touched on the following points:
• Withdrawal liability can be quite large, depending upon the size of the plan and the percentage of total plan contributions. Special rules may apply in the case of an acquisition. • Withdrawal liability formulas are complex and can take considerable time to calculate. In this case, the fund would have needed three to four months to determine the exact amount of the withdrawal liability.
• Payment schedules vary by fund. Payments may be required for up to 20 years. Alternatively, a withdrawing employer might want to take advantage of low interest rates to borrow the withdrawal liability and pay back the loan rather than make
the withdrawal liability payments.
• A participating employer of a multiemployer fund may see the withdrawal liability rules as a benefit: They are designed to discourage fellow employers from leaving the plan. • Mass withdrawals are a possibility. If a specified majority of participating employers decide to withdraw at the same time, a new set of complex rules will be triggered. These will also impact your business decisions.
Every type of retirement plan has particular strengths and weaknesses, and multiemployer pension plans are no exception. Historically, multiemployer plans have done a good job in serving the needs of an intrinsically mobile union workforce. However, their complexities make it advisable for plan sponsors to seek help from advisors with specialized experience. BV Tim Herman, FSA, MAAA is a consulting actuary with Milliman in Brookfield. He can be reached at tim.herman@milliman. com or (262) 796-3318.
President Obama In Wisconsin
Do you have news to share? Send your press releases and company news to email@example.com
Watch the progress as WMC rebuilds its website: President Barack Obama examines a lock as he tours the Master Lock manufacturing facility alongside Bob Rice, Senior Vice–President Supply Chain. The President visited Milwaukee in February.
Wisconsin Business Voice
G N I MIN
Jobs: Casualty of Mining Bill Defeat By Scott Manley, WMC Director of Environmental & Energy Policy
n the waning days of the legislative session, Republican Senator Dale Schultz joined all 16 Senate Democrats in voting to kill the iron mining bill on a 17-16 vote.
Within hours of the Senate vote, Gogebic Taconite announced they were ending plans to invest in an iron ore mine in Wisconsin, and will no longer pursue what would have been the state’s largest privately funded economic development project. States typically seek to attract large development projects like the proposed iron mine by providing economic incentives like tax credits and training grants. Instead of welcoming thousands of jobs to our state, Senator Schultz and the Senate Democrats voted to send a clear message that Gogebic Taconite (or any other mining company) is not welcome here.
Chasing a business away before they can even gain a foothold does not bode well for future efforts to attract jobs to our state. The death of the mining bill will also preserve Wisconsin’s shameful status as one of the most anti-mining places in the world. Each year, the Fraser Institute1 surveys mining companies across the globe to determine the best and worst places for mining investment. Wisconsin consistently ranks dead last in the country (and among the worst places in the world) for mining regulation and overall hostility to mining. Because of the vote to kill the bill, mining companies will continue to prefer working with unstable regimes in thirdworld countries like Zimbabwe and the Congo, instead of investing in Wisconsin.
The Senate’s rejection of mining reforms and the corresponding loss of mining investment is a tremendous blow to Wisconsin’s economy and economic recovery. Because of the vote, Wisconsin will now forego a $1.5 billion investment in our economy. Gone is the opportunity to create 3,175 statewide, including 700 jobs paying an average of $82,000 per year for mine workers.
Nor will we give the construction industry a badly needed boost with the creation of more than 2,000 jobs to build the mine. We have also lost an estimated $1.4 billion in state and local taxes from the mining operation to help fund schools, roads and other vital services.
Why would Democrats and Senator Schultz turn their back on these tremendous economic opportunities? There is no shortage of excuses as they scramble for cover to justify their job-killing vote. One such excuse suggests Republicans weren’t willing to compromise. Not true. The legislative authors moved significantly toward the other side, making more than 30 substantive changes to the original bill. By comparison, the mining opponents dug in, and never offered a serious proposal to fix what is broken with our current mining laws.
Another incorrect but frequent excuse relates to the bill weakening environmental standards. However, the nonpartisan attorneys at the Legislative Council busted that myth when they confirmed the bill does not change our current air quality, water quality, or groundwater quality standards.
As further proof that the environmental concerns are unfounded, the DNR issued a statement saying the bill gives them the tools necessary to ensure environmentally safe mining, noting it allows the agency to protect the environment both on and off the mining site. Inventing an environmental boogeyman is a convenient foil for people who are unwilling to admit that they simply oppose mining.
Excuses aside, the bill died because every single Democrat in both houses of the Legislature voted against it. Many believe the Democrats voted as a bloc against the bill simply to deny Governor Walker a victory on jobs just prior to the recall election. At a recent labor rally, union leader Lyle Balistreri said “For the Senate Democrats to vote against this bill is a sign that they’re not with us. They’re certainly not job creators, and in fact they’re job killers.”
Democrats and environmental groups have taken the demise of the mining bill as an opportunity to declare victory. Amid their self-congratulation and victorious puffery, it is Iron County that will continue to lose population as young people leave to seek jobs elsewhere. The local unemployment rate will remain unacceptably high, and families will remain impoverished by some of the lowest household incomes in the state. It’s difficult to understand how anyone can consider that outcome a victory. BV
1The Fraser Institute is an independent non-partisan research and educational organization based in Canada which conducts peer-reviewed research into critical economic
and public policy issues including taxation, government spending, health care, school performance, and trade. www.fraserinstitute.org
S W E N E H T
State manufacturers are in need of skilled workers
WMC’s spoof of what the Wisconsin coat of arms may look like after the defeat of the mining reform bill.
“If we don’t plan for the future, we aren’t going to have one. Without a skilled work force, we can say goodbye to those jobs.” –Kurt R. Bauer, president/CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. �Herald Times Reporter, Manitowoc; January 22, 2012
“In Milwaukee, we have the unique distinction of having the only two companies in the world who produce surface mining shovels of the kind that would be used in this mine. So regardless of who the company wanted to buy their machinery from, it would have been a Milwaukee manufacturer. And that of course means employment in the city of Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin.” WMC’s Senior Vice President James Buchen, quoted on Wisconsin Public Television’s Here and Now aired March 9, 2012.
“It was going to be an iron ore mine, but for Wisconsin, it would have been a jobs gold mine.” said Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO. �Newsradio 620 WTMJ, Milwaukee; March 12, 2012
“At the end of March, the federal fund ing from the most recent extension expires and, more sign ificantly, we run out of money for transportation,” Culo tta said. “It’s a big deal to do this spring.” –Jason Culotta, director of tax and transportation policy at Wiscons in Manufacturers & Commerce. �The Post-Crescent, Appleton; Febr
uary 4, 2012
Streamlined Permitting Promotes Job Creation While Protecting Environment
Wisconsin Business Voice
Y T E SAF
Customized Safety Training By Janie Ritter, Director of Wisconsin Safety Council
“Every day in America, 12 people go to work and never come home. Every year in America, 3.3 million people suffer a workplace injury from which they may never recover. These are preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy.”
he above quote from U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis underscores why many leading companies make safety training a high priority within their business culture. The Wisconsin Safety Council (WSC) assists employers every day to ensure their employees arrive to work at the start of the day, have a productive day, and safely return home to their families. Safety training is a huge part of that plan.
WSC offers multi-media training tools, on-line course options, and scheduled training across the state utilizing WMC’s Madison headquarters, hotel conference rooms, and member company host locations. One growing trend over the past few years is customized safety training held directly inside a company. There are many benefits to the custom training option. Financial savings can be significant, especially if multiple employees require the same training. For example, WSC is currently providing the 10-hour OSHA course to a Wisconsin company with a need to train over 200 of their employees. Under traditional training options,
the cost to send these 200 employees for training would cost the company nearly $55,000. And that amount only covers the training and materials. It does not take into consideration mileage reimbursement, lodging, and meals. Conversely, by hiring WSC to provide their needed training in-house, this company saved over 50 percent on their training costs. WSC was also available to train during all three production shifts. Custom training allows trainers to apply the training topic to a company’s specific application. Whether the topic is OSHA compliance, confined space, forklift operations, team safety, safety inspections, or any other topic, there is an advantage to holding a training session at your facility. Doing so allows real-world examples to be identified, analyzed, discussed, and possible solutions evaluated.
She believes the custom training John Deere has brought in-house has increased employees’ knowledge and awareness that accidents are preventable. Rich Bizek, North America Safety Manager with ABB, Inc. in New Berlin, recently shared with WSC that ABB views their investment in safety training as an investment in product quality and production. Bringing custom training into their facility enhances the quality of the products they make, and in turn affords them a distinct advantage over their competitors.
Faith Technologies, an employeeowned electrical and specialty systems contractor with offices in Wisconsin and five other states, utilizes WSC’s Defensive Driving training as a customized course for its employees. The course focuses on reducing the number and severity of automotive crashes. As part of the National Safety Council’s signature training, the Defensive Driving program has trained more than 63 million drivers around the world.
Transportation incidents account for nearly two out of every five fatal work injuries.
Companies see their safety programs change in a positive manner by utilizing customized training. The job of safety is no longer solely a function of the safety department or human resources. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
Ann Mulvaney, Safety and Training Representative from John Deere Horicon Works, believes employees better understand where they fit into the process following the customized safety training held in their facility. Employees directly see the impact they have as an individual in regards to safety. Mulvaney says bringing custom training into their facility allows employees to take a look at things from the inside out, instead of the outside in – they can take what they learn and apply the techniques directly to their workplace situation.
Training like the Defensive Driving course is not only an investment in safety, it is a financial investment. According to data collected by the National Safety Council, one motorvehicle crash with injuries can cost an organization nearly $50,000. Data reports from 2010 note transportation incidents account for nearly two out of every five fatal work injuries.
Regardless of your company size, the Wisconsin Safety Council is a resource available for all your safety and health training needs. We welcome the opportunity to design a custom training course for your organization. BV
Wisconsin Safety & Health Conference and Exposition April 16-18, 2012 Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells The Wisconsin Safety Council is Wisconsin’s leading provider of workplace safety training and programming. Whether you are an industry newcomer, a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, the 2012 Safety & Health Conference and Exposition can help you increase your knowledge, enhance your career, and empower YOU for long-term success.
New this year! Live Demos More Professional Development Courses Ask the Expert Sessions More Advanced Safety Professional Sessions Special Corporate Safety Awards More Educational Sessions Networking Reception “Find the Safety Violation” in the Expo Hall Exhibitor Booth Awards Early Morning Fitness Class ...and much more!
You won’t want to miss it!
Visit www.wisafetycouncil.org or call (800) 236-3400 for more information and to register today.
Chapter of MILWAUKEE AREA
The Wisconsin Safety Council, a division of WMC, is the reason more people go home safely every day from manufacturing plants, offices, and construction sites. WSC offers training throughout the year at locations across the state. MADISON AREA
WISCONSIN DELLS AREA
Coaching the Lift Truck Operator, Train-the-Trainer Effective Team Safety Safety Inspections OSHA 10-hr Voluntary Compliance Course for General Industry
Supervisory Development: Safety & Health Fundamentals Safety Training Methods (STM) Safety Inspections OSHA Construction Breakfast “Cranes/Power Lines”
Job Safety Analysis (JSA)
Coaching the Emergency Vehicle Operator Fire or Ambulance
Safety Communication & Training Techniques Ergonomics: Managing for Results
Principles of Occupational Safety & Health (POSH) Instructor Development Course: First Aid/Adult CPR/AED
OSHA 30-hour Voluntary Compliance Course for General Industry
FOX VALLEY/ GREEN BAY AREA
• Coaching the Lift Truck Operator, Train-theTrainer • Effective Team Safety • Ergonomics: Managing for Results
• Incident Investigation • NFPA 70-E Advanced Electrical Safe Work Practices • Drugs in the Workplace – Recognition and Trends • Leadership Through Understanding People, Behaviors and Workplace Demands • Fall Protection • 8-hour Hazwoper Refresher • Interpretation of Industrial Hygiene Results
Safety Communication & Training Techniques
70th Annual Safety & Health Conference/Expo
OSHA 10-hour Voluntary Compliance Course for General Industry Creating a World-Class Safety Culture
Job Safety Analysis (JSA)
Worker’s Compensation Case Management & Workplace Anatomy OSHA 30-hour Voluntary Compliance Course for General Industry
Creating a World-Class Safety Culture
Coaching the Lift Truck Operator, Train-the-Trainer
Worker’s Compensation Case Management & Workplace Anatomy
Effective Team Safety
For a complete schedule and registration information, visit www.wisafetycouncil.org Wisconsin Business Voice
E R U FUT
Building Tomorrow’s Business Leaders By Steve Benzschawel, Director of Business World W
ith spring on our doorstep, Business World is just around the corner! Last summer, nearly 300 students from 115 different high schools from all corners of Wisconsin learned about business and entrepreneurship. This summer’s camps will be held at Edgewood College in Madison June 17-20, and at St. Norbert College in De Pere June 24-27.
At camp, students are put in the driver’s seat to run a mock company and make many of the same decisions faced by real-world company executives. Students will form companies, elect executives, brainstorm a new product, build a “prototype,” display and pitch their product at a company tradeshow, write and perform a commercial, tour a local business, meet mentors, make new friends, and experience life on a college campus. It is a lightning-fast four days that is sure to be a highlight of summer for many Wisconsin high school students. Many of our mentors were BW students as teenagers and have since returned to give back to the program that helped set them on their way. Andy Lemorande, from St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay, is one such alumni mentor who sees the value in a program like Business World. “My experience at Business World really opened my eyes to the dynamics of the workplace. It was a valuable experience as a student, and its rewarding to help other kids have the same experience. That’s what keeps me coming back.”
2011 summer program at St. Norbert College, De Pere.
Business World students on tour at Ariens Company in Brillion.
If this fun, challenging program sounds like something your high school child would be interested in, check us out at www.wibusinessworld.org or visit our Wisconsin Business World Facebook page to learn more and download an application.
Employers, we encourage you to offer Business World to your employee’s children by making them aware of the program and its merit. Contact us to receive your Corporate BW Packet, which will give you everything you need to offer a wonderful opportunity in free enterprise education to your employee’s families. We hope you join us in our effort to teach today’s students about entrepreneurship and free enterprise! BV
WMC at Home and on the Road
1. A delegation of Egyptian leaders visited WMC in February to
5. Nearly 300 students from Dane County high schools attended
2. More than 150 people attended the Focus on Manufacturing
6. WMC Board Members Bob Kamphuis (left) and Mike Salsieder
discuss international trade issues. At center is Mike Shoys, WMC Vice President.
Breakfast February 24, moderated by WMC Foundation President Jim Morgan. Panelists included Rich Meeusen, Chairman, President & CEO of Badger Meter; Buckley Brinkman, Executive Director of Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership; and Dan Ariens, President/CEO of Ariens Company.
the Mini Business World held at American Family Insurance headquarters this February.
(right) stand with Tommy Thompson during a board meeting.
7. WMC’s James Buchen (right) honored Senator Glenn Grothman (R–West Bend) with the Exemplar Award for his work on the manufacturers’ tax credit bill which will begin a three year phase-in in 2013.
3. WMC President/CEO Kurt R. Bauer (right) was featured on the
8. Wisconsin Safety Council’s conference planning committee met
4. WMC President/CEO Kurt R. Bauer (right) shakes the hand
9. WMC’s Scott Manley testified at a hearing on the mining bill
InBusinessTV Coffee Break in February. View the video here: http://www.ibmadison.com/ibtv?video_id=98
of a visiting student from Janesville Craig High School. More than 50 students visited Madison for the day to learn about government. They met with WMC leaders, members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and legislators.
to define the details of the Annual Safety & Health Conference and Expo April 16-18 in Wisconsin Dells. earlier this year.
Wisconsin Business Voice
Our Two Deficits By Congressman Ron Kind (D – La Crosse)
making these responsible investments. Providing our schools with funding for research and studies in science, technology, engineering and math helps ensure we out-innovate the rest of the world. And making sure our workers are taught the skills they need to succeed, will make sure America remains the most productive and competitive country in the world.
f we continue down the same path of annual deficit spending, adding to our national debt, we’re going to jeopardize our children’s future. Today, we suffer from two deficits – the gap between spending and revenue and the gap between reality and ideology. The first cannot be solved unless we at least narrow the second. Our economic strength depends on it – and on our ability to get our fiscal house in order.
Our growing debt impacts not only our economic future but our competitiveness as a nation. There’s no doubt that investments in education, worker training, and manufacturing help create jobs and ensure our companies and workforce are successful in a global economy. But with our rising budget deficits, these investments are the first areas to suffer cuts. America’s future as a global economic leader relies on our ability to continue
In order to guarantee we can fund these investments, we must find savings in the budget to pay for them. Every year, $30 billion in taxpayer funded subsidies goes to a few large agribusinesses, hurting family farmers and distorting the market. The Government Accountability Office indicates our weapons programs are $300 billion over budget and we’re funding 80,000 troops stationed in Western Europe to protect us from nonexistent Cold War threats. In addition, one out of every three health care dollars is spent on things that don’t work, in the fastest and largest growing spending program in the federal budget. We need to reform our health care system so we pay for the value of care given and not the volume of things done. Building upon the payment and delivery system changes in health care reform will help us find health care savings and increase affordability for public and private payers alike. Yet reducing all investments now won’t help a struggling economy come back to life. The key is finding the right balance
of spending responsibly but also finding revenues to pay for crucial investments that will ensure our economy is built to last. We need to reform an antiquated and complicated tax code by simplifying it, broadening its base, and lowering rates to help our businesses, large and small, compete globally.
Here are the facts. Federal spending today is 23 percent of GDP. Federal revenue is 15.5 percent of GDP, the lowest in 60 years. The historical average for both is roughly 19-20 percent of GDP. We know what we have to do – we have to look not just at reforming federal programs with an eye on cost savings, but also increasing our revenue base if we want to achieve long-term deficit reduction to get our fiscal house in order. We owe it to future generations to put America on a sound fiscal path. BV
Congressman Ron Kind represents Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District. You may contact him at 1406 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-5506. Congressman Sean Duffy represents Wisconsin’s Seventh Congressional District. You may contact him at 1208 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-3365.
It’s not too late to do the right thing By Congressman Sean Duffy (R – Weston)
mericans understand that debt and spending are one of the primary reasons for stagnant job growth. We look to Greece and rightfully wonder about the potential of our own economic downfall. With three straight trillion-dollar-plus annual deficits and a national debt over $15 trillion and rising, there is no easy solution for fixing a spending-driven debt crisis. To avoid a similar fate as Greece, we must change course now. Yet President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposal takes a page right out the current economic Greek tragedy. His budget ignores basic, fundamental challenges facing our future. He presses the issue of class warfare and government-imposed fairness, yet the President ignores the realities of his
failed stimulus package, his lackluster jobs numbers and the 10,000 baby boomers added every day to Medicare and Social Security. On March 16, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office announced the President’s fiscal policies will result in $6.4 trillion in deficits over the next decade.
President Obama’s budget includes unrealistic assumptions for economic growth and massive tax increases. But even with his rosy economic predictions and list of tax hikes, his budget never comes close to balancing, all while colossal debt continues to amass.
Higher taxes, zero reforms, and greater spending isn’t the answer to a stronger, more competitive economy. True growth comes from lower taxes, fewer and smarter regulations, and an honest, gimmick-free approach to budgeting.
Congressman Duffy (R – Weston) visits with business leaders during a meet and greet event hosted by WMC in February.
In the House we have been focused like a laser on creating jobs and growing the economy. We tackled the United States corporate tax rate, which ranks as the highest in the industrial world. We simplified the tax code by eliminating loopholes and special carve-outs for the well-connected that leave many companies paying no taxes at all. By lowering the rates and broadening the base for everyone, we encourage businesses to stay and invest in America, bringing in more revenue
to the federal coffers and keeping us competitive in a global economy.
In the past 14 months, the House has also passed nearly 30 jobs bills aimed at reducing spending, curbing regulations, increasing our energy supply, and reforming our budget process. Yet nearly every jobs bill we’ve passed is still languishing in the United States Senate. And there’s no greater example of the Senate’s dysfunction than the more than 1,000 days in which they have shirked their most basic responsibility of passing a budget. In our House plan, we saved Medicare for this generation and reformed it for the next – the only way to prevent it from going bankrupt. We passed a serious budget that creates a safety net for those who need it, not a hammock for those who would prefer the Government take care of them forever.
The good news is that we can get our economy back on track and our debt under control. But to do it, we need the help of a willing Senate and a President who is ready to be honest about our economic challenges.
I remain hopeful the logjam in Washington can be broken – even in an election year - so our job creators can once again thrive, Americans can get back to work, and our children can enjoy a more prosperous and free America. BV
Wisconsin Business Voice
How Superior Lured Kestrel Aircraft By David Minor, President and CEO, The Chamber for Superior & Douglas County Wisconsin an airplane manufacturing company to Wisconsin than the Air Show, a huge annual event? Paul was my former counterpart when he headed the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, so getting a meeting with him on short notice was, let’s say, somewhat easier.
razie, gracias, kiitos, merci, danke schoen, takk – no matter the language, they all mean “thank you.” So thank you, Kestrel Aircraft, for investing in Superior’s future. Three economic development attributes brought Kestrel to Superior: relationships, partnerships and teamwork. And without all three, we would never have sealed the deal.
In early July 2011, Jim Caesar, an economic development consultant working for the City of Superior, approached Kestrel CEO Alan Klapmeier about locating Kestrel manufacturing facilities in Superior. Jim and Alan go back several years and were able to have a one-on-one conversation about the benefits of Superior. At that time, it appeared Kestrel was heavily favoring Brunswick, Maine for the site. But when things began to unravel in Maine, Alan called Jim and said, “Let’s start talking about Superior.” From the beginning, Alan and his team didn’t ask, “What can you do differently or what can you offer that’s more than what Maine is offering?” Instead, they were upfront about Kestrel’s specific needs. They also wanted assurance that Superior could deliver on what it promised. The first meeting we set up with Alan and the State of Wisconsin was in July with Paul Jadin, CEO of Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), held in Oshkosh at the Experimental Aircraft Association show. We thought, what better place to set up the first meeting about bringing 32
We would never have been successful without the support of the State of Wisconsin, especially the support of WEDC’s Paul Jadin and Executive Director Wyman Winston of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Jim Caesar, Charlie Glazman (Associate Development Authority (WHEDA). Collectively, these two state agencies Dean of Continuing Education at contributed $112 million in loans and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical tax credits to assist the Kestrel project. College) and I drove to Oshkosh to The City of Superior and Douglas meet with Alan and Paul to see if the County contributed $6 million in state would be interested tax increment financing, land in partnering with Three economic grants and a loan from us on this project. development attributes the Douglas County After about a 45-minute brought Kestrel to Superior: Revolving Loan Fund. Douglas County also meeting that relationships, partnerships authorized the transfer was supposed of county-owned land at to last only 15 and teamwork. the fairgrounds to the City of minutes, Paul said, Superior Redevelopment Authority “Let us know what for the Kestrel site. It goes without we need to do to bring Kestrel to saying that without these incentives, the Wisconsin.” project would never have happened (but Partnerships I’ll say it anyway). As Douglas County Board Chair “The decision by Kestrel to locate in Doug Finn will always say, “Without Superior is a strong indication that partnerships we won’t be able to Wisconsin is a great place to locate accomplish anything.” The mayor’s and grow a business,” said Paul Jadin, development team consists of Mayor CEO and Secretary of WEDC. “The Bruce Hagen, City Planning Director combined effort and responsiveness of Jason Serck, Jim Caesar, Doug Finn, Governor Walker, WEDC, WHEDA, Douglas County Administrator Andy City of Superior and Douglas County Lisak, Executive Director Michelle showed that Wisconsin knows how to Hostetler of The Development support businesses.” Association, Executive Director Kaye Since Alan Klapmeier formally Tenerelli of the Superior Business announced the project on January 16, Improvement District, Department people have often asked me what Kestrel Head Fariba Pendelton of Community Resource Development at the University means for the community. It means many things; all of them good. First, it of Wisconsin Extension and me. Each means employment – 600 new Kestrel of these individuals played many roles jobs in Superior and about 400 jobs in throughout the past six months while the area related to other industries and we worked to help attract Kestrel to businesses. It also means other aircraftSuperior. What’s great about working related businesses will more likely view with this group is that there are Superior as a potential location for no egos. It’s never about who gets startups or relocations. individual credit. It’s our job, on behalf of the residents and businesses of this Welcome home, Alan Klapmeier and community, to make the case for why Kestrel Aircraft. We’re very glad you Superior is an excellent place to do chose Superior. And we know you’ll business and why our area has highly never regret it. BV skilled workers.
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(L-R) Corey Chambas, President & CEO First Business Financial Services, Inc. Joan Burke, President First Business Trust & Investments
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Published on Apr 1, 2012