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Official magazine of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

January 2013: Issue 5

Spotlight on Mining

Inside:  Business Day in Madison Breaking into the Top 10 Supreme Court Election Preview


BUSINESS VOICE From the Editor

In this issue

Spotlight on Mining Page 6

Take Two: Legislature Positioned to Enact Mining Reform

Scott Manley, WMC Vice President of Government Relations, outlines the need for mining legislation in the upcoming legislative session.

This edition marks the one-year anniversary of Wisconsin Business Voice. This publication was the vision of our President Kurt Bauer. We all felt it was important to get something into your hands – our members and other stakeholders – as a complement to our emails and website, so you know what we’re up to here.

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Our goal was to bring you thoughtful columns from our staff and others to keep you informed of all things “WMC” and other business issues that matter to you. We talked recalls, healthcare, workforce, education, taxes, bad federal regulation, elections, worse federal regulation, environment, and good public policy. We’ve introduced you to some great companies in Wisconsin who are being recognized for best practices in safety, environment and other good works. We shared our pride in teaching more than 500 high school students about free enterprise through our Business World programs last year, and focused on the importance of workplace safety for thousands of safety professionals.

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Our inaugural edition focused on Governor Walker’s recall election, which he handily won. Kurt and I caught up with the Governor at November’s State of Wisconsin Business event where he autographed a few magazine covers for us. (I must say my parents were proud!)

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We’ve heard good things from our readers so far, and I think we’ve accomplished a lot with this quarterly publication. But we’d love to hear any thoughts you have on how we can better meet the needs of our readers, so please drop me a note to let me know what we can deliver to your door in the next edition.


Mining for Jobs: This edition’s lead story focuses on the economic impact the mining industry has on Wisconsin businesses. Metallic Minerals and Mining in Wisconsin

Ann Coakley, Director of Waste and Materials Management for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, shares a history of mining in Wisconsin and describes our metallic mineral resources.

Feature Columns Page 2

What is the State of Wisconsin Business?

Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO, highlights the outlook for Wisconsin’s business sector.

Supreme Battle

James Buchen, Former WMC Senior Vice President, frames the importance of the upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court election.

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Wisconsin in The Wall Street Journal

Jim Pugh, WMC Director of Public Relations, works with The Wall Street Journal to tell Wisconsin’s story from a national perspective.

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Employment Law Changes a Necessary Component to Economic Growth Rebecca Hogan, WMC Director of Health & Human Resources Policy, targets the differences between Wisconsin and federal employment laws.

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You Can’t Legislate Career Choices… Can You?

Jim Morgan, WMC Foundation President, is working to solve Wisconsin’s workforce paradox.

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Wisconsin is Ripe for Income Tax Reform

Jason Culotta, WMC Director of Tax & Transportation Policy, analyzes Wisconsin’s current tax climate.

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Celebrating Safety Excellence in Wisconsin

Janie Ritter, Wisconsin Safety Council Director, tells the tale of the 14 winners of last year’s Wisconsin Corporate Safety Award.

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

Guest Columns Page 14

Keeping Wisconsin Working

John Scocos, Secretary of Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, promotes the many good reasons companies should hire veterans.

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What Will it Take to Make Wisconsin Number One?

Senators Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) and Alberta Darling (R-Milwaukee) share their thoughts on what it will take to create a toplevel business climate in Wisconsin.

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Chamber Corner: Our Road to Business Advocacy

Jeff Zriny, President/CEO of the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce, details the Chamber’s venture into building a grassroots advocacy program.

What is the State of Wisconsin Business? Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO


very year the president reports to Congress and the American people on the State of the Union. Governors and mayors of major cities provide similar annual updates to their constituency.

observers. They say Wisconsin’s job growth has lagged other states, including Illinois. But my guess is that most business leaders in the Land of Lincoln would gladly trade Quinn’s failed policies for Walker’s successful ones. In fact, when Walker spoke to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in Springfield last year, he received a hero’s welcome.

Governor Scott Walker was our keynote speaker followed by J.P. Donlon, Editor-in-Chief of Chief Executive Magazine.

Of course, Wisconsin doesn’t control its own destiny. Our economy is tied to the national and global economies and both are stagnant. But that isn’t an excuse to stop building on the successes of the last two years. WMC’s goal is to firmly establish Wisconsin as a top ten state as measured by the most respected business rankings.

As stewards of Wisconsin’s business climate, WMC conducts annual surveys to determine the “State of Wisconsin Business.” The annual event releasing the data was held late last year in Madison before an overflowing crowd of business leaders.

In introducing Governor Walker at the event, I took the opportunity to reflect on the remarkable progress Wisconsin has made in radically transforming our business climate in a little more than two years.

The highlights include turning a $3.6 billion deficit - among the largest per capita in the nation - into an estimated $340 million surplus. That is in stark contrast to Illinois, which like Wisconsin began 2011 with a new governor and a massive budget deficit. But Governor Patrick Quinn of Illinois pursued a very different path than Governor Walker that generated very different results. Quinn made a deal with the powerful government sector unions in his state that he would not make needed spending cuts. Instead, Quinn imposed a huge 66 percent “temporary” tax increase on individuals and businesses. Today, Wisconsin has a surplus and Governor Walker’s approval rating is above 50 percent.

In Illinois, the budget deficit is now the worst in the country. Illinois also has the lowest bond rating of any other state, while Wisconsin’s rose. Not surprisingly, Governor Quinn’s approval rating is below 30 percent. Even at the height of the recall protests, Walker’s approval rating never fell below 40 percent.

With the help of WMC and many other sector-specific business trade associations, Wisconsin also enacted close to 50 pro-business measures during the last legislative session. Those laws helped Wisconsin jump from bottom dweller to the top 20 in several of the major business-friendly state rankings, including Site Selection Magazine, CNBC and Chief Executive Magazine, which called Wisconsin’s progress “phenomenal.” Some dismiss Wisconsin’s positive balance sheet and the recognition we have received from objective national 2

Wisconsin is poised for growth when a strong and sustained recovery happens. Illinois is not because when local, state and federal governments fail to balance their budgets, businesses face the constant threat of tax and fee increases they know will make them less competitive. Examples can be found in cities like Detroit, states like Illinois and California and nations like Greece, Spain and - I am sorry to say - the United States.

To reach that goal, we need to protect the Act 10 reforms that deserve credit for changing Wisconsin’s fortunes. Later this year, the Wisconsin Supreme Court is expected to review Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan Colas’ ruling which overturned parts of Act 10. But before the Supreme Court will rule on Act 10, there will be an election on April 2 to determine whether the state’s high court will be controlled by judicial activists, like Judge Colas, or continue to be led by justices who understand their role is to interpret the law, not create it. It is yet another big election that will determine Wisconsin’s future, which means the business community can’t afford to ignore it (for more on the Supreme Court race, see page 4). Another area demanding immediate attention is Wisconsin’s uncompetitive tax rates. According to the DC-based Tax Foundation, Wisconsin’s overall tax burden is 5th highest in the nation (2010). For businesses, we are 7th highest (2012). To put that into context, when Illinois raised its corporate rate by 66 percent two years ago, it was still lower than Wisconsin’s (7 percent for Illinois versus 7.9 percent for Wisconsin). Wisconsin can take a step in the right direction by repealing some of the Doyle-era tax increases.

What we have learned in Wisconsin over the last two years is that in order to change the business climate, you first must change the political environment. Thanks to Governor Walker’s leadership and the support he has received from the legislature and the business community, I can report that the State of Wisconsin Business is strong and getting stronger. BV

Follow Kurt on Twitter @Kurt_R_Bauer

Manley Replaces Buchen as WMC's Chief Lobbyist V eteran business lobbyist Scott Manley has been named WMC’s new Vice President of Government Relations. Manley replaces James Buchen who left WMC as of December 31 to form a private public affairs firm. Buchen will continue to work with WMC as a contract lobbyist. Manley has worked for WMC since 2005 as a public policy director responsible for environmental and energy issues. Prior to joining WMC, Manley was chief of staff for then State Senator Cathy Stepp. Overall, Manley has 18 years of experience working in the legislative and political arenas. “Scott is the most qualified person to lead WMC’s vital legislative and political advocacy efforts,” said Kurt Bauer, WMC president/CEO. Bauer said Manley has earned the respect of government officials, both elected and nonelected, along with the business community and his lobbyist colleagues.

“It’s an honor for me to lead WMC’s government relations team, and the work we do to advocate on behalf of business and industry,” said Manley. “I look forward to continuing WMC’s leadership role in policy advocacy, and our work to make Wisconsin the most competitive state in the nation to do business.”

as one of the prominent voices and leaders in the Wisconsin business community. “Buchen is widely recognized as the dean of the business lobby corps and his long experience handling the complex issues we face on a daily basis will be sorely missed. However, we do intend to continue to tap his expertise in the future through a consulting relationship,” said Bauer.

Scott Manley (right) with Kurt Bauer, WMC President/CEO and Governor Scott Walker at WMC's State of Wisconsin Business event in November last year.

During his nearly three decade tenure at WMC Buchen managed government relations, communications and public relations, litigation, political affairs and membership. He played a key role in enhancing WMC’s stature and influence over the years by

assembling and directing a highly talented team of government relations professionals and by pioneering the effective use of “issue advocacy” to engage the general public in support of improving the business climate in Wisconsin. BV

WMC Board of Directors

The WMC Board of Directors met in October last year and, among other things, reviewed WMC’s Legislative Agenda for the upcoming session. Read more about WMC’s priorities on page 25 in this month’s Business Voice.

Manley was hired and mentored by Buchen who departs WMC after 26 years

James Buchen, left, receives a Proclamation from Secy. of Admin. Mike Huebsch declaring December 4, 2012 as James Buchen Day.

Wisconsin Business Voice



James Buchen James A. Buchen Public Affairs

Supreme Battle J

ust when we thought that high profile elections were behind us, a battle for control of the State Supreme Court looms yet again. Justice Patience Roggensack, a widely respected conservative on the high court, is seeking reelection to another ten-year term this April. At the time of printing, there are two announced opponents – Vince Megna, a partner in the personal injury law firm of Aiken & Scoptur who specializes in “lemon law” litigation, and Ed Fallone, a professor at Marquette University Law School. Others are also considering the race.

A personal note from the author…

I have been honored over the past 26 years to be part of the WMC team, working to improve the business climate to help companies grow, expand and create jobs in Wisconsin. It has been a truly gratifying experience because I firmly believe that a healthy, growing economy does more good for society than any government program. As we start the New Year I am pleased to announce that I am leaving WMC to form an independent public affairs consulting business. In my new capacity I will continue to represent businesses and associations, including WMC, working to accomplish important public policy objectives. Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with many impressive business leaders and establish numerous lasting friendships. I hope to continue those relationships in the years ahead. I have also had the pleasure of working with a wonderful team of dedicated professionals at WMC, who, I am sure, will continue the effective advocacy work of the organization. If I can be of any service to you in the future please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks,

The election promises to be a battle royal because the 4-3 conservative/ liberal balance on the court is at stake. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is generally viewed as having four judicial conservative and two, sometimes three, liberal activist members. In judicial terms, conservative can be defined as a judge that follows the plain meaning of the Constitution and the laws passed by the legislature as well as established precedent. By contrast, a liberal or activist jurist looks for creative ways to interpret the Constitution or statute to accomplish social or societal objectives based on their personal philosophy. In other words, they try to act as a surrogate legislature, creating new law to address perceived wrongs. Many observers believe


both Megna and Fallone would fall into the liberal activist camp if elected to the Supreme Court. That would shift the balance on the Court, giving the activist camp a 4-3 majority, which would put many of Governor Walker’s reforms in jeopardy. Megna has been an outspoken critic of Walker and the collective bargaining reforms and, if elected to the high court, would likely affirm the Dane County Circuit Court decision that attempts to invalidate much of the new law (visit vincemegna to view Megna’s videos on Governor Walker). Many other reforms such as the caps on punitive damages and attorney’s fees would also be at risk.

Megna’s legal career has focused largely on litigation using Wisconsin’s one-sided “lemon law.” This law was intended to protect consumers who purchased poorly constructed automobiles but was written in such a way that it can be manipulated to create a windfall for unscrupulous plaintiffs. Megna has successfully pressed numerous “lemon law” claims against auto manufacturers and is believed to have amassed sufficient wealth to self-fund a statewide election campaign. Professor Fallone has also opined on the constitutionality of Walker’s Act 10 reforms, offering support for Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan Colas’ decision which attempts to invalidate much of the new law. Fallone also argues in support of the federal Affordable Care Act on both constitutional and policy grounds. Given the nature of the legal questions expected to come before the Court in the near future and the fact that it will be yet another referendum on Act 10 collective bargaining reforms, (the fifth in two years ) it is likely labor unions will pour significant resources into the campaign.

All of this suggests the April election will be another pitched battle. Philosophical control of the State Supreme Court is at stake. The outcome of this election will significantly affect the future direction of our state - the Court will determine whether Walker’s reforms move forward or are dead in the water. The stakes are high, which means the race is likely to attract national attention and national money. Like it or not, the business community is going to have to step up once again. We have come this far and there is too much at stake to walk away from what may be the supreme battle for Wisconsin’s future. BV After 26 years, James Buchen left WMC at the end of 2012 to pursue his own public relations firm. He may be reached at


Jim Pugh WMC Director of Public Relations

Wisconsin in The Wall Street Journal WMC Delivers Wisconsin News Nationally


n September 27, The Wall Street Journal editorialized that the upcoming election for Wisconsin Supreme Court is being targeted by unions who want to overturn Governor Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reforms. (Act 10)

The editorial ran within days of a Dane County Circuit Court judge overturning parts of Act 10 and spelled out how unions would be establishing an activist high court majority.

For a relatively small state, Wisconsin gets a fair amount of coverage in The Wall Street Journal. In part, that’s because the editorial editor, Paul Gigot, is a Green Bay native. It’s also because WMC works hard to pitch stories worthy of national attention. An excerpt from the September 27 editorial reads: “The case also provides a stalking horse for the fight over the future of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Liberals tried and failed last year to defeat conservative Justice David Prosser in the closely divided court. But in April they will get another chance to lock in a four-liberal majority when conservative Justice Pat Roggensack is up for electoral retention.”

Following a briefing from the WMC public relations team, The Wall Street Journal warned America’s business leaders about the stakes of the April Supreme Court election. The closing paragraph of The Wall Street Journal editorial states: “The left has lost every electoral attempt to roll back Mr. Walker’s reforms, which have saved taxpayers a bundle and prevented teacher layoffs throughout the state. What an offense against democracy it would be if the clear will of Wisconsin’s people were overturned by partisan liberal judges.” The business community in Wisconsin, and the nation needs to rally to the defense of Justice Roggensack. Just as WMC and our

partners have rallied to educate the public about the high court – resulting in victories for three conservative justices. WMC advertising was instrumental in establishing a 4-3 conservative majority after the court had a disastrous 4-3 activist majority in 2005. WMC Issues Mobilization Council raised and spent nearly $6 million on those three Supreme Court issue advocacy campaigns.

But before any money flowed into those issue campaigns, WMC’s public relations team thoroughly briefed the editors of The Wall Street Journal about the national implications of Wisconsin’s activist Supreme Court. In fact, WMC won a Public Relation Society of America award for best campaign for our work on tort reform and the activist Supreme Court. The relationship dates back to the mid-1990s, when WMC pioneered issue advocacy and battled a free speech win at the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

WMC’s relationship with The Wall Street Journal has parlayed into headline after headline helping our state garner national attention. This helps attract significant resources as national groups grasp the significance of major developments in Wisconsin. The Wall Street Journal editors and reporters know they gain insightful analysis of Wisconsin’s current events and the national implications of the activist Supreme Court, the union unrest of 2011 and much more. We’ve done big things in Wisconsin, and are getting national attention. That’s what happens when you’re moving in the right direction to improve the business climate. BV

Classic headlines about WMC and Wisconsin in The Wall Street Journal have included:

“Wisconsin Unions Get Ugly” “Political Pornography ” “Athens in Mad Town” “Wisconsin’s Battle Supreme” “Incumbent Propert y Rights?” ” ison Mad “Taxpayers Win in Wisc “Unmade in

“Cafeteria Constitutionalism”

“As Wisconsin’s Battle Heads to Court, Unions Try to

Oust a Judge”

onsin” “Alabama North”

“The Wisconsin Recall Stakes”

“Censoring Free Speech”

“Wisco “A Union Education” “Eat Paint, Get Rich” nsin’s Battle Supreme”

“Wisconsin Vindication” Wisconsin Business Voice



By Scott Manley, WMC Vice President of Government Relations

Take Two: Legislature Positioned to Enact Mining Reform W isconsin let slip a rare opportunity to create thousands of jobs when the Senate fell one vote short of passing comprehensive iron mining reform last session.

Fortunately, the political dynamics in the Legislature have changed since November and lawmakers again have the chance to pave the way for unprecedented investment and job creation in our state. They cannot miss this opportunity a second time. People often ask why the mining bill failed last session and what will be different in the upcoming session that may lead to a more favorable outcome.

In many respects, efforts to enact a reasonable iron mining bill last session were doomed from the beginning. Extremist environmental groups and their allies in the Senate and Assembly never wanted a bill that would have led to the creation of mining jobs and investment because they oppose all mining as a matter of ideology.

the Legislature, including incoming Senators Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) and Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac).

The successful effort to elect pro-mining legislators may prove decisive in the upcoming session when the Legislature revisits the mining issue. Lawmakers who support iron mining reform should know the public is overwhelmingly behind them.

In a recent statewide poll conducted by the Tarrance Group for WMC, voters supported iron mining reform legislation by a margin of 3-to-1. The mainstream of Wisconsin voters understand the enormous job creation potential of iron mining, and see through the baseless environmental scare tactics. The election of pro-mining lawmakers, along with the broad support for mining legislation in the court of public opinion, are factors that will certainly work in favor of passing a mining bill when the Legislature reconvenes in January.

Even before it was formally introduced, environmental groups Perhaps equally important, Governor Scott Walker has made engaged in a dishonest campaign to defeat the iron mining bill. passage of iron mining reform legislation one of his top priorities. They resorted to distortions, innuendo and At WMC’s annual State of Wisconsin Business luncheon late misleading television ads intended last year, Governor Walker reaffirmed his support for the to scare the public, including legislation, and called upon lawmakers to pass the bill Lawmakers who lawmakers who would ultimately support iron mining reform early in the legislative session. vote on the bill. Governor Walker’s leadership on the mining issue is

should know the public is Among their wild accusations, critical, as he has become one of the most influential environmental groups said the governors in the country. Having the Republicanoverwhelmingly behind mining bill would allow toxic waste controlled Legislature and Governor Walker aligned on them. to be dumped into wetlands and that the the need for iron mining reform dramatically enhances the bill’s bill allowed the poisoning of drinking wells. Both of these claims likelihood of passage. were proven false. Despite these positive developments, we expect the anti-mining Despite the best efforts of many Republican lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly to promote an honest debate, the politics of fear and demagoguery won the day by a single vote in the Senate.

special interests at the Capitol to spend considerable time and resources in an attempt to derail the mining bill a second time. WMC welcomes that debate.

Although the vote was a frustrating setback, the issue was too important to accept defeat.

Indeed, state environmental regulators have said the bill gives them the tools needed to ensure the environment is protected both on and off the mining site – it’s a win for jobs and the environment.

The failure of the mining bill and the lost opportunity of a $1.5 billion investment in our state’s economy was a bitter disappointment in an otherwise remarkably pro-business session of the Legislature.

With the help of our members and business coalition partners, WMC was able to mount considerable resources to hit the airwaves with a public education campaign on the mining issue this past fall.

In the end, the November elections proved mining is a winning issue in Wisconsin. Candidates in the Senate and Assembly who ran on a pro-mining reform platform won election to 6

The reality is that nonpartisan attorneys working for the Legislature confirmed the bill does not rollback water quality standards for rivers, lakes or streams. Nor does the bill change the groundwater standards designed to protect drinking water.

No other bill presents the Legislature with a greater opportunity to create family-supporting jobs and put Wisconsinites to work. Now more than ever, Wisconsin families are counting on decisive action on mining reform. BV Follow Scott on Twitter @ManleyWMC

A bi-partisan group of 39 lawmakers and legislative staff toured two of the world’s premier mining equipment manufacturers in Milwaukee in November on the eve of an expected legislative battle over an iron ore permitting bill. More than 70 people participated in the tours sponsored by WMC, Joy Global, Inc. and Caterpillar, Inc. “It’s critical that lawmakers understand the significance of mining manufacturing and the high-wage jobs they sustain in Milwaukee, and why reforming our iron mining laws will create more jobs in our state,” said Scott Manley, WMC Vice President of Government Relations.

The attendees of Mining Manufacturing Day stand in the shadow of the full-scale mining shovel on display in the parking lot of P & H Mining Equipment in Milwaukee.

Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), left, and Senator Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) at Caterpillar Inc. headquarters in South Milwaukee during Mining Manufacturing Day in November.

Ask the WMC Board

From your vantage point as head of one of Wisconsin’s leading energy providers, what does a second term of President Obama in the Whitehouse mean for the energy industry? Will further EPA restrictions be harmful to your business, or to that of other industries here in Wisconsin?


ur country’s energy policy has been more prominently discussed and debated during the past few years than at any time in recent memory. As President Obama begins his second term, energy policy will continue to be front and center, and as an electric and gas service provider, Alliant Energy remains very engaged and interested in EPA regulations and energyrelated actions that impact our company - and ultimately the cost of energy for our customers. At Alliant Energy, we strive to show great care for the environment and we are committed to compliance with environmental laws and regulations.

Our company is investing more than $1 billion over the next four years to improve the environmental profile of our largest generating stations and we are retiring many of our older and smaller, less efficient coal-fired power plants. As we work to educate policymakers on current and proposed regulations, our approach has been to fight for a level playing field in terms of impacts between the Midwest and other regions so our customers’ energy rates will remain competitive. We also push hard for compliance flexibility so we can meet regulations with the most cost-effective and efficient solutions for our company and our customers.

Patricia Kampling Chairman, President & CEO Alliant Energy

No matter the leadership in Washington, we need to ensure that new regulations are technologically practical and include reasonable timelines for implementation. We all want a healthier environment, but there is a cost to our customers when new regulations are added. We urge policymakers to carefully and thoughtfully analyze the impacts on jobs and economic development, as well as on families and our communities, when proposed regulations are considered. Our leaders must all work together to find the right balance so we can enjoy environmental and financial health for American families and businesses.

WMC at Home and on the Road










1. Eleven people earned their Advanced Safety Certificate from the Wisconsin Safety Council this fall. Flanking the group is Janie Ritter, Director of the Wisconsin Safety Council on the left, and Dave Amos, safety instructor, on the right.

2. WMC hosted a session in Neenah to discuss the EPA’s proposed

series of rules that will significantly increase the cost of energy. Here, Thillmany LLC’s management team poses with Congressman Reid Ribble (R-8th District), third from right.

3. Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) spoke to WMC’s Healthcare Committee last fall. Erpenbach stands with Rebecca Hogan, WMC’s Director of Health & Human Resource Policy.

4. Wisconsin Business World, a WMC program for high school

students, held a Mini Business World program in Door County last fall. More than 100 students from Door and Kewaunee counties learned about the free enterprise system.

6. The Wisconsin Safety Council held its annual board meeting at Colony Brands, Inc. in Monroe.

7. The Wisconsin Business World advisors met in November to plan

the 2013 programs. Nearly 500 high school students learned about the importance of free enterprise at the two summer programs and the many Mini Business World programs held in 2012.

8. George Lightbourn, President of the Wisconsin Policy Research

Institute, spoke to WMC’s Government Relations Council last month about reforming Milwaukee schools. Lightbourn, left, is pictured with Scott Manley, WMC Vice President of Government Relations.

9. WMC works with the University of Wisconsin Law School’s Center

for Asian Studies Minhang District program and hosted two interns in October last year. Pictured here with Senator Johnson is Ren Zhonghua, left, and Wu Changfei, right.

5. WMC held a listening session with U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin). Johnson, center, is pictured with members of WMC's Government Relations Council.

Wisconsin Business Voice



Rebecca Hogan WMC Director of Health & Human Resources Policy

Employment Law Changes a Necessary Component to Economic Growth I

n 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce prepared a report titled “The Impact of State Employment Policies on Job Growth.” The review covered all 50 states and unfortunately, Wisconsin was ranked in the worst tier with 14 other states. Wisconsin joined California, New York, Illinois and Michigan as a state where employment laws are considered a barrier to economic growth.

This will not come as a shock to our members. Most are well aware of the regulatory burden that exists because Wisconsin enacted employment regulations prior, or in addition to, the federal government. This creates the need to comply with two separate regulatory structures, which adds significantly to the cost of doing business and exposes businesses to additional levels of litigation. Because of this, WMC has always made changing Wisconsin employment laws a priority.

The U.S. Chamber report explained if all the states could remove excess regulation in this area of law, the net effect could be as high as 746,000 new jobs and the rate of new business start-ups would increase by over 12 percent. The report goes on to say states like Wisconsin receiving the rating of “poor” have policies that inhibit job creation and have the potential to substantially increase job growth by adopting less burdensome policies. There are areas we can clearly identify for improvement. The biggest burden for HR departments is navigating the difference between the state and federal family medical leave acts (FMLA).

Wisconsin passed its own FMLA in 1988 prior to President Clinton signing the federal law in 1993. A harmonization of the laws never occurred and businesses have been left to deal with the differences of the two laws. Each law has unique requirements for the number of hours worked needed in the preceding year to qualify, substitution of leave, use of intermittent leave, and definition of calendar year.

The state and federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Acts, the directive for employers to provide advance notice of plant closings or mass layoffs, are also not the same. Each law contains different triggers necessitating who needs to be notified and how to count a covered employee. State and federal law also vary in a variety of wage and hour requirements. There are differences in what constitutes a white collar exemption, the definition of work time and obligations for time recordkeeping.

Wisconsin receives a poor grade for its treatment of covenants not to compete, commonly known as non-compete clauses. Employers use these contracts to clarify how a former employee utilizes information that could be used to compete against the employer in the future. Wisconsin judges have few options other than to throw out an entire contract if one provision is deemed excessive. At WMC's State of Wisconsin Business event in November, J.P. Donlon, Editor-in-Chief of Chief Executive Magazine, thought simplifying excessive rules and regulations is crucial to Wisconsin becoming the most pro-business state in the nation. Governor Walker and the legislature have signaled they want to build on the successes of last session and continue moving Wisconsin in the right direction. Based on the findings of the U.S. Chamber’s 2011 report, it seems there would be a significant economic benefit by reforming Wisconsin’s state employment laws.

These reforms will be a priority for WMC this legislative session, and it will be important for employers and human resources professionals to join us as we advocate for these changes. BV Follow Rebecca on Twitter @Rebecca_Hogan

J.P. Donlon, Editor of Chief Executive Magazine, at November's State of Wisconsin Business event.


Business Day in Madison: February 13, 2013 Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center, Madison

In November,

America decided our elected officials should stay the course. But what does that mean for your business, your employees, your families and our nation? Will our leaders be dedicated to economic growth and opportunity?


Please join us as we present some of the brightest minds in the nation to discuss the future.


Governor Scott Walker will speak on Wisconsin's business climate and his legislative goals.

Dr. Barry Asmus

Economist, Best-selling Author Creating a Favorable Climate for Business


Stephen Hayes

Political Analyst, Media Personality, Author America's Political Landscape: 2013 and Beyond

General Michael Hayden Former Director of the CIA and NSA Hot Spots at Home and Around the World

AGENDA 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Dr. Barry Asmus

10:30-11:30 a.m.

Stephen Hayes

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Luncheon and Keynote: General Michael Hayden 1:15-1:45 p.m.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack

2:00-2:45 p.m.

Governor Scott Walker

2:45-4:30 p.m. Adjourn or Legislative Visits

To Attend:

Early bird (before January 11): $125 per person; $900 per table of 8 Regular rate: $155 per person; $1,140 per table of 8 (608) 258-3400

Wisconsin Health Care: Preparing for the New Normal Tuesday, February 12, 2013 | 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center, Madison

Nothing has caused more uncertainty for employers recently than health care. What is the impact of the Affordable Care Act? How will it affect my employees' health care? What rules apply, and when will they be enforced? What happens now with the health exchange in Wisconsin since Governor Walker opted out? As businesses brace for the “new normal” in health care, the WMC Foundation is pleased to present two experts who will provide an overview of the current situation from a policy point of view and insights into what Wisconsin’s health exchange might look like. Following their presentations, a panel of health care providers, insurers and employers will offer their perspective on the future of health care in our state. Hadley Heath, Senior Policy Analyst, Independent Women’s Forum Hadley Heath is a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women's Forum specializing in health care, entitlements, economics, fiscal and public policy. Heath appears frequently in print, broadcast, and radio outlets across the country, and her work has been featured in many publications.

Kenneth Munson, Regional V Director, Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Kenneth Munson plays a vital role in the Department’s continued work with states to implement the Affordable Care Act and acts as a representative of the Secretary in direct official dealings with state, local and tribal government organizations, and other external partners in the Region.

Cost is $50 per person. Visit for more information and to register.

You see the destination. We see your path. Insight. Experience. Passion for business. And a promise that we’ll work as hard making your business a success as we do our own. Because to us, the only true measure of our success is yours.


© 2012 Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.

Jim Morgan WMC Foundation President


You Can't Legislate Career Choices... Can You? S omeone sent me the following headline after listening to one of my presentations on the workforce paradox this past spring: “China to Cancel College Majors That Don’t Pay.” The Chinese Ministry of Education’s criteria for reducing or eliminating college majors includes consecutive years with a graduate employment rate below 60 percent. Communism is nothing if not efficient!

Obviously, that is not an approach that would gain traction in the United States, where we value freedom of choice, continuing education and look for wellrounded individuals. Having said that, we have an immense challenge ahead of us if we are going to match employee education and skill sets with employer needs.

We have made progress!

We had October declared as “Manufacturing Month” and it resulted in companies opening their doors to students, teachers and parents to see firsthand what modern manufacturing looks like. Local chambers of commerce spread the word in communities throughout Wisconsin and we worked with many of them to engage educators and employers in finding solutions.

Many of you shared your best practices with us and we have, in turn, shared them with others. There has been better and more frequent communication between manufacturers and educational institutions (K-12, tech colleges) throughout the state leading to more work-based experiences, apprenticeships and internships. Media outlets, social and traditional, have reported on the shortage and skill mismatch.

Right now in Wisconsin, we know about 30 percent of the jobs require a bachelor’s degree or more. That means 70 percent do not, though the majority of those require more than a high school Going forward, legislators and degree. In other words, the Governor are reviewing Ultimately, an technical skills. And, reports by Tim Sullivan, here is the most employable, productive former CEO of Bucyrus, puzzling part: those and continuously learning Competitive Wisconsin jobs are currently and the Wisconsin available, pay well individual is the goal. Technical College System above the average wage, to find policy solutions. A few are the heart of innovation that have intrigued WMC include: and entrepreneurism and are the key to  Coordinated data system linking Wisconsin’s long-term economic success. workforce and career information with This should not be so difficult! educational and job counseling so we The WMC Foundation has led the charge can better match what is needed with in raising awareness about manufacturing what is produced and the high-quality jobs that exist. We  Better career planning for students have extolled the virtues of industry and throughout their K-12 experience its direct link to the state’s economic  Investment in competitive training foundation. And we have preached, dollars for Wisconsin’s technical prodded and pushed parents, students and colleges that can prove need and counselors to learn about the financially documented success in placing rewarding and intellectually challenging students careers in advanced manufacturing.

Coordination of all job training dollars and programs under one council Focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and career and technical education

Core credit transfers between K-12, technical colleges and the UW system Rationalization (and possible simplification) of all programs aimed at providing work experience for students

Quality metrics for all training and annual review of success Encourage better and frequent communication between manufacturers and educational institutions (K-12, tech colleges)

Encourage manufacturers and educational institutions to partner on apprenticeships and internship programs

While I don’t believe you can legislate career choices, and I don’t see us going the route of China, we can do our best to support policies that expose people to the options available and educate them on career paths that both match their passions and lead to viable, familysupporting jobs.

At the end of the day, no one would argue with having a well-educated citizenry. Education opens doors. However, it is the means, not the end. Ultimately, an employable, productive and continuously learning individual is the goal. As employers, all of us have a role in making that happen… and that is how we will solve the skills gap. BV Follow Morgan on Twitter @JimMorgan1960

Wisconsin Business Voice


Keeping Wisconsin Working By John Scocos, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs


he Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs works on behalf of Wisconsin’s veteran’s community veterans, their families and their survivors - in recognition of their service and sacrifice to our state and nation. There are nearly 400,000 veterans living in Wisconsin. Our mission is to ensure that our servicemen and servicewomen have all the tools they need to reintegrate into civilian society.

As we move forward in the 21st Century, we are looking at the growing numbers of new veterans who will be returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. It is important for us to assist them with their reintegration back home to our Wisconsin communities… to help them find jobs and housing, to go back to school to further their education, and to ensure they talk with experts regarding their health and well-being. Currently, the unemployment rate of veterans is significantly higher than the statewide average. In spite of the technical skills and strong work ethic acquired during military service, veterans continue to face unique challenges in finding employment. Governor Walker has placed a heavy emphasis on finding jobs for unemployed veterans and my mission as Secretary is to help connect veterans with the jobs they have earned and ensure they have clear access to the benefits and services they need, including employment assistance.

There are many reasons business owners understand why and how to hire veterans. should hire veterans. First, veterans possess In March we launched the Veterans the skills business owners are seeking in Benefit and Resource Center which is employees: leadership, the ability to work a team of customer service agents who as a team leader and a team member, the can be reached during business hours ability to work under pressure and meet by phone or by chat feature on our deadlines, the ability to give and follow website. Veterans who call will be able directions, planning and to immediately speak to organizational skills, support staff In addition to getting Center commitment to who are trained to working safely, a highly skilled, dedicated provide the most and flexibility and frequently requested employee, there are some information adaptability. about

tax benefits to hiring a the Department’s Second, in addition to getting a highly programs, benefits and veteran. skilled, dedicated services. employee, there are some tax Wisconsin has a long, proud history benefits to hiring a veteran. The Returning working to ensure our veterans have access Heroes Tax Credit provides companies up to the benefits and services they deserve to $5,600 in credits for each unemployed so they can be successful. We are working veteran you hire. The Wounded Warriors hard to keep this tradition alive and hope Tax Credit provides up to $9,600 to you will join us in helping to get veterans companies who hire veterans with serviceinto meaningful jobs. connected disabilities. I’m more than happy to talk to any of you To address this situation, we recently more about our agency and ways you can reorganized our agency to make it more connect with unemployed veterans. efficient and help connect veterans to get Thank you for your work to keep what they need. Our new structure now Wisconsin Working. BV includes an Outreach Team which has been responsible for going out directly John Scocos is Secretary into the community and connecting with of Wisconsin Department veterans. Last year we hosted 16 career of Veterans Affairs. He and benefit fairs for veterans and are can be reached at john. currently planning more for this year. Our scocos@dva.wisconsin. Outreach Team has also organized a series gov or (608) 266-1315. of workshops for businesses to help them

Business Directories and Lists Available from WMC 2013 Directories now available. Access to business lists is now easier and less expensive with our new lineup of Dun & Bradstreet® data products. WMC’s print directories and custom lists help you reach your target markets at an affordable price. Contact Mike Shoys to order today,, (608) 258-3400. 14

Youth-Powered Organization Helps Local Companies Go Global Students provide businesses with a unique employment solution


ans Hermann, a 19-year-old University of Wisconsin-Madison sophomore, already has the experience of an up-and-coming sales professional. He has traveled cross-country for numerous professional sales conferences, including a sales summit in Atlanta and further training in San Francisco. On a weekly basis, Hermann meets with local Wisconsin business executives and discusses strategic partnerships over the phone and via email.

Still, Hermann hasn’t missed a Badger football game this fall and attends classes five days a week.

“I never saw myself in college meeting one-on-one with business executives, especially with my lack of experience, but AIESEC has given me the opportunity few other students have - to grow my professional skills in a real setting.”

Hermann is part of a student organization on campus called AIESEC, a global not-for-profit organization powered by youth which connects companies with international talent.

Recently, Hermann has been working closely with Helgesen Industries, Inc. to source international talent to Wisconsin, in turn helping the Hartford-based hydraulics manufacturer expand globally. This is not the only company the local AIESEC committee has impacted. Recently, the students finished sourcing for ScheduleSoft Corporation, an employee scheduling software company. “The AIESEC interns have been instrumental in helping ScheduleSoft penetrate the Latin American market through identifying and engaging with target distribution partners and customers

in the region,” said Laurie Wittwer, the Director of Administration at ScheduleSoft Corporation.

The AIESEC Business Development Team helped ScheduleSoft source five international interns to develop software and manage their database. Local committee members worked closely with the company’s management to construct a proper training plan and general requirements for the interns they needed. The students then provided a short list of qualified candidates from AIESEC’s impressive network of 83,000 international students and recent graduates. The final list included recent graduates from Brazil, Poland and Russia.

Once ScheduleSoft selected their favorite candidates, AIESEC laid the foundation for the interns to enter the country. The students processed all necessary visa paperwork, provided health insurance, selected local accommodations for the interns, prepared them for cultural changes, and provided reception services, including airport pickup and cell phone access. These were the initial needs of the sourced interns, however throughout the year, AIESEC also provided ongoing cultural integration and support.

in 1948 as a way to bridge cultural gaps. As the world’s largest student-run organization, AIESEC facilitates workabroad opportunities for students across 113 countries. Through these exchanges, AIESEC works to develop globally minded leaders while maintaining its mission: Peace and fulfillment of human kind.

AIESEC-Madison allows UW students, like Hermann, to step out of their comfort zone and explore other cultures around the world through internship and volunteer opportunities. Companies like Helgesen Industries are not only growing their brand internationally, they are also fulfilling AIESEC’s value of developing global leaders. BV

To learn more: To contact AIESEC:

“Representatives from AIESEC were very helpful and responsive throughout our engagement and selection process” Wittwer said. “We are extremely pleased with each of the five students we selected.” AIESEC provides more than 20,000 of these exchanges annually. The organization was founded in Europe

Wisconsin Business Voice


Company News

CEOs Inducted Into the 2012 AME Hall of Fame Daniel Ariens, President and CEO of the Ariens Company and Dr. John Toussaint, M.D., CEO emeritus of ThedaCare and CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, were inducted into the Association Manufacturing Excellence Hall of Fame in October, 2012. The AME inducts individuals who continuously exemplify and represent AME’s mission to inspire commitment to enterprise excellence through shared learning and access to best practices.

Ariens Company is a leading manufacturer of outdoor power equipment for consumer and professional use. Mr. Ariens is an advocate for lean manufacturing principles and has created a culture of perpetual improvement that has allowed for the creation of world-class manufacturing facilities according to lean standards. ThedaCare is the largest healthcare provider and employer in Northeast Wisconsin. Dr. Toussaint applied the Toyota Production System to health care, which has led to desirable outcomes such as zero medication reconciliation errors upon administration for more than three years in a row and substantial improvement in the areas of staff productivity and satisfaction.

President & CEO of Waukesha Metal Products Attends ESGR’s “Bosslift” Event The Wisconsin Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) recently held its annual “Bosslift” event in San Diego, California. The event helped employers develop a better understanding of what citizen soldiers do when they are away from their civilization jobs for military duty. Jeff Clark, president of Waukesha Metal Products, last year's Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year award winner, was involved in ESGR's campaign to help ensure employment opportunities for members in the National Guard and Reserve forces. Mr. Clark stated “For many businesses, including mine, it’s critical to find the most talented workers. From what I’ve seen of these service members, they could come into my company and help run the organization. They have a high level of knowledge and varied backgrounds.”

Zach Brandon Named President of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce After a national search, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce selected the prime candidate from the very city the Chamber calls home. Zach Brandon began his duties in November and is replacing Jennifer Alexander, who is retiring after nearly nine years at the chamber. Brandon previously served as the Director of the Wisconsin Angel Network, which provides services and resources to the early stage investing and entrepreneurial communities. Brandon views the phrase ‘Greater Madison’ as a goal to continuously strive for rather than simply a name or geographic location. “We will proactively fill the economic development policy vacuum and be aggressive in the pursuit of a climate that recruits, retains, and grows employers and the jobs they create.” Brandon said.

The Business Journal Names Executives of the Year The Business Journal has named John Schlifske of Northwestern Mutual and Aaron Jagdfeld of Generac Holdings Inc. as the 2012 Executives of the Year. Jagdfeld will be part of WMC’s Focus on Manufacturing breakfast March 1 at The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. John Schlifske

BusinessVoice_January2013 -pg16.indd 1

Aaron Jagdfeld

12/19/2012 11:45:16 AM

Jason Culotta, WMC Director of Tax & Transportation Policy


Wisconsin is Ripe for Income Tax Reform W isconsin has made significant progress in improving our state’s business climate and getting our fiscal house in order, but some major areas of public policy are still in need of reform. Our state individual income tax is a leading candidate.

Wisconsin has historically ranked high in both income and property taxes compared to other states, while our sales tax is relatively low. According to the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, limits on property taxes adopted last year led to a net statewide increase in revenue of only 0.2 percent in 2012. Those limits will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. This leaves the income tax as a major challenge for Governor Walker and the Legislature to reform. The non-partisan Tax Foundation released two key rankings of the states in October. The 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index placed Wisconsin 43rd among the states (close to the bottom), while the 2010 State-Local Tax Burden Rankings placed Wisconsin close to the top at 5th place. In both studies, our high income tax burden contributed greatly to lowering Wisconsin’s standing.

The incoming Assembly Speaker, Representative Robin Vos (R-Burlington), urged the formation of a special legislative study committee this year to review our income tax structure. The committee has received testimony from state and national tax experts as well as local CPAs. One common theme of the testimony is that Wisconsin’s code is too complex, with too many tax credits, deductions, and checkoffs (“departures from federal adjusted gross income,” in accounting parlance). The number of state differences with the federal tax code doubled in the past ten years.

Another theme was eliminating our state alternative minimum tax (AMT), which is paid by about 4,500 taxpayers and generates around $5.3 million annually, compared to over $7 billion collected from state individual income taxes last year. Compliance costs are estimated to be far above that figure, as many taxpayers must prepare both an AMT and a regular return before determining which to pay. In 2009, Governor Doyle created a new 7.75 percent tax bracket for those earning $225,000 or more; the previous top rate was 6.75 percent. Most businesses today incorporate as pass-through entities (such as S corporations and LLCs) and do not pay corporate income tax (C corporations do), so these businesses pay individual income taxes. Many people seem unable to comprehend that much of the individual income tax is collected from businesses. In fact, 90 percent of businesses and over two-thirds of manufacturers incorporate as passthrough entities. Repealing the 2009 top income bracket would be a strong progrowth boost for Wisconsin.

Our corporate income tax rate is a uniform 7.9 percent. If a lower individual income tax rate can be achieved in Wisconsin, reducing the corporate rate to match the new top individual bracket would eliminate any state tax preference a company may realize by forming as a pass-through entity rather than a C corporation.

The Governor and Legislature must reach a healthy balance between providing the desired level of government services and allowing the business community to flourish. This in turn generates the tax revenue to boost education spending, fund BadgerCare and address other worthy goals. Granting income tax relief to the taxpayers and businesses of the state will provide much needed relief and send a powerful signal to others around the nation (and world) that in these troubled times, Wisconsin is indeed Open for Business. BV

Manufacturers’ tax credit Begins now The WMC-backed manufacturers’ tax credit, which will be phased in over a period of four years beginning in 2013, will virtually eliminate the tax on income derived from manufacturing activity in Wisconsin. The credit will be phased in as follows:





1.875 %

3.75 %

5.526 %

7.5 %

Unused tax credit amounts could be carried forward up to 15 years to offset future tax liabilities. The credit will reduce personal and corporate income tax collections by: $10,100,000 in fiscal year 2012-13; $44,200,000 in 2013-14;  $72,300,000 in 2014-15; 

$104,400,000 in 2015-16; $128,700,000 in fiscal year 2016-17 and thereafter. Wisconsin Business Voice




Business leaders see the current impact and dramatic potential of the industry’s expansion By Becky Nelson


housands of years after Native Americans discovered copper near Lake Superior, and nearly 200 years after the first “badgers” made their way to the state’s southwestern corner in search of lead ore, mining remains an industry with a rich history and a promising future in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s mining operations provide direct employment to 8,080 people. Another 21,230 are employed indirectly from mining activity both in state and out of state, for a total of 29,310 jobs. Average mining-related wages, which were $64,215 in 2008, are 47 percent higher than the average wages in the state. Mining accounted for 1 percent of the state’s labor income and $918 million, or 1.1 percent, of the state’s gross domestic product, according to the most recent figures from the National Mining Association. That’s without metallic mining, which employs nearly 45,000 people in Minnesota and Michigan. A 1998 moratorium makes permitting a metallic mine in Wisconsin nearly impossible.

Last legislative session, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) supported mining reform legislation to streamline the permitting process for iron ore mines. After that bill narrowly failed, Gogebic Taconite of Hurley, a subsidiary of Florida-based Cline Mining Corporation, dropped its plans to build a $1.5 billion mine in Penokee Hills in Ashland and Iron counties. The company said it would reconsider if meaningful reform is passed. That remains a top

priority for WMC.

Today, Wisconsin’s existing mines supply gravel and aggregate rock for the roadbuilding industry. They provide granite and other stone used in construction. The fastest-growing segment of Wisconsin’s mining industry is industrial silica sand – also called “frac sand” – which is essential to the state’s foundries as well as to the hydraulic fracturing process to extract fossil fuels from the nation’s shale formations. “If you miss the expansion Other Wisconsin employers construct and maintain mines, provide consulting services, or serve as part of the supply chain.

because of political bickering, it could be years before another expansion might occur in Wisconsin.”

“Mining is an essential part of the state’s economy; helping the industry grow here helps the entire state. It can provide jobs not only in northern Wisconsin but also in southeastern Wisconsin, described by one legislator as ‘the Silicon Valley for mining equipment,’” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote in a November 2012 editorial. Yet Wisconsin has a reputation for being anti-mining. According to the Fraser Institute’s December 2010 survey of nearly 500 mining companies, Wisconsin ranks last among 79 states and countries as a place where environmental regulations and regulatory framework support investment in mining. For many of Wisconsin’s deep-rooted Main Street employers, the issues surrounding legislation that would make the state

Wisconsin Business Voice


more welcoming to mining aren’t limited to a particular geographic region. As business leaders understand, growth in the industry – here and elsewhere – will result in more high-quality jobs around the state, not just now but for generations to come.

Tradeoff for the Greater Good

An economic impact study by NorthStar Economics, Inc. found that construction of the iron ore mine would result in 3,175 jobs annually for two years. Once operational, Gogebic estimated the mine would employ 700 workers, with average salaries and benefits of nearly $83,000 a year.

Add in the truck drivers, railroad workers and professional positions that would be needed, and the mine could provide more than 2,800 jobs annually during its first 35 years of operation. (See The Local Economic Impact of the Proposed Iron Mine, opposite page.) Currently, employment in Iron County stands at 1,543, with a median household income of $34,201.The unemployment rate was the second highest in Wisconsin, at 9.1 percent in October 2012. The county, which lost 14 percent of its population in the latest census and has an aging population, would benefit from the opportunity to employ young people in skilled, often hightech positions, said Kelly Klein, coordinator of the Iron County Resource Development Association, Inc.

“There’s widespread support for the mine, especially here in Iron County. Mining has been part of our culture; there are memories of mining past all over. People know what it’s done for the area previously and they understand what could happen if it were to be developed again,” Klein said. He also sees the impact that a mine could have on local property values and tax revenues. “There are a variety of things you could do with tax revenue from a mining operation – whether it’s infrastructure, new business development, an environmental program or a cleanup of other sites that you could never do before,” he said.

Gene Rands, project manager at Lakehead Painting in Superior, described the potential. “It’s going to bring well-paid jobs, for the mine itself or in our category of maintenance. There will be jobs in both mining and processing, on site and off site. There will be steel fabrication for the buildings and lots of concrete work. Then there’s the spinoff with the trucking industry, road building and road maintenance. It brings in a lot of jobs in shipping and rail transportation,” he said. The 45-year-old company employs an average of 25 people in industrial sandblasting, painting and specialized lines for various operations, including taconite processing facilities in Minnesota. A new mine might provide more work, closer to home.


Sand Mining Sets Example

Industrial sand mining is an entirely different kind of mining that has continued to expand and create jobs in Wisconsin. Berlin-based Badger Mining Corp. is one of several companies benefiting from a growing demand for Wisconsin’s silica sand in places like North Dakota, where the sand is pumped into a mixture of chemicals and water into shale wells to hold open fractures, allowing oil and gas to be extracted. In 2010, total U.S. industrial sand and gravel production grew to 29.9 million metric tons, from 24.5 million metric tons in 2009, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. “They’ve been a good customer of ours for the last 40 to 50 years,” said Badger Mining associate Marty Lehman, of the natural gas and oil producers there. “With the new technology that’s been developed to get gas out of the shale, it’s a real opportunity for the United States to become energy independent. You can’t do that without the sand that’s produced here.”

The 112-year-old, family-owned company has frequently made the list of “Best Small Workplaces” on the Great Places to Work® web site. Its 235 employees work in both technical and nontechnical positions at the company’s headquarters, as well as at its mines in Fairwater and near Taylor.

“We’re providing a great boost to the economy with much-needed, stable jobs. We’re doing this in an environmentally responsible and safe manner. We’re engaging our stakeholders,” Lehman said. Wisconsin has approximately 60 mining operations involved in extraction of industrial sand and about 30 processing facilities operating or under construction, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

In Waupaca County – where a proposed sand mine awaits approval – Waupaca Foundry produces castings for the automotive and commercial truck industries. Founded in 1955, it’s the largest iron-casting foundry in the world, employing 2,200 people in Wisconsin and 3,800 total. Waupaca Foundry employees living within the county earn $82.5 million in wages annually, accounting directly and indirectly for 10 percent of Waupaca County’s economy, according to a study by Mike Koles, a University of Wisconsin-Extension educator, and Steve Deller, a UW-Madison applied economics professor.

The study found that foundry wages have a total economic impact of more than $146.5 million in Waupaca County. In addition, the foundry itself purchases $226.5 million in goods and services from area businesses.

“We’re very much relying on local sand mining for our business, specifically in Wisconsin but also to some degree, in our other locations. Without sand, we can’t produce castings. It’s as simple as that,” said Gary Gigante, president of Waupaca Foundry.

The Boldt Company, based in Appleton and founded in 1889, employs about 2,000 people. The family-owned firm has worked with companies such as Badger Mining and U.S. Silica. Its employees handle the installation and maintenance of processing and conveying systems for sand mines in Minnesota, Michigan and elsewhere.

“These are relatively small projects, but to keep an operation like a mining facility operational, you need to continue to maintain the equipment and the infrastructure,” said CEO Tom Boldt.

With any new mine, “they’re going to spend a significant amount of money. There’s currently no infrastructure, so there’s going to be a significant amount of work that needs to be done,” he said.

An Opportunity for Many

In Green Bay, FEECO International, Inc. has evolved since it was founded in 1951 as a fertilizer engineering and equipment company. Today, its staff of 100 manufactures large equipment, like the conveyors used in industrial sand mines, including the one in Chippewa Falls, as well as the huge bucket elevators, rotary drums, disk pelletizers, compactors and mixers used to process metallic ores mined throughout the world.

Last February, the company hosted a public event led by Governor Scott Walker to help educate the company’s staff about the importance of mining, which accounts for about 35 percent of the company’s business and contributed to an additional 30 jobs in the past five years. “I wanted to bring the attention of some specific points that I felt were pertinent,” said President Dan Madigan, son of the company’s founder. “Number one, that worldwide mining was expanding. Number two, our country was really in a fierce recession and the mining industry is definitely providing jobs to people right now. The third point I wanted to pass along was that if you miss the expansion because of political bickering, it could be years before another expansion might occur in Wisconsin.” He continued, “My fourth point was that a new mine would be state of the art and more likely to be operated when an iron ore pricing recession might occur. That would give us some fallback, if there was a recession related to iron ore prices.” In November, WMC, Caterpillar and Joy Global hosted Mining Manufacturing Day. WMC members and guests – including many legislators and their staff – visited the production facilities of both companies, where they learned more about just how big an impact those two machinery manufacturers have on small

employers throughout the state. Companies in 39 Wisconsin counties serve as suppliers to Joy Global alone.

Walker Forge, Inc. in Clintonville is a closed-die forging company that is part of the supply chain to companies like Caterpillar and Joy Global. The 60-year-old manufacturing firm makes parts for earth-moving equipment and railroad cars, diesel engine components and The Local more. “In 2010, we had about 217 employees; we were at low levels because of the recession. During the runup of hydraulic fracturing over the last two years, our employment has almost doubled,” said Richard Recktenwald, president of Walker Forge, which now employs 405 and pays average wages of $13 to $28 an hour. Recktenwald said the mining industry isn’t well understood, and he believes mining jobs should be considered manufacturing jobs.

“One of the things I run into all the time is the statistic that manufacturing is only 10 or 11 percent of the U.S. economy. That’s grossly underestimated. Extend that to include over-the-road truck drivers, HVAC supply shops and the 27 people outside my window, constructing a building. None of them are in the manufacturing calculation,” he said. “Manufacturing – and I would include mining – is the key to economic growth.” BV

Economic Impact of the Proposed Iron Mine A 2010 report from NorthStar Economics, Inc. details the economic benefits the proposed iron mine would bring to the 12-county Gogebic Range in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, an area that has experienced significant population decline and job loss in the last several decades. If the mine operated at a production level of 8 million tons per year – the figure could be as much as double – it would: 

Nelson is a Madison-based freelance writer.

Impact the local economy by more than $2 billion during the two-year construction phase, supporting 3,175 jobs each year. The regional impact will include $344 million in employee compensation in each period in which the mine is being built. Establish an economic impact of $604 million during each year of operation.

Support 2,834 jobs in the region. The average income for direct mining jobs would be $82,984 – 87 percent higher than the all-industry average Wisconsin labor income.

Produce an annual state and local tax yield of more than $17 million.

Wisconsin Business Voice


Metallic minerals and Mining in Wisconsin

By Ann Coakley, Director of Waste and Materials Management Program, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources


ver the past several years, global demand for metals and high prices have led mineral development companies to seek opportunities to expand their search for sources of various metals. Wisconsin, possessing favorable geologic characteristics and a number of undeveloped mineral deposits, is one state that has been the target of such interest.

Mining in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has a long history of metallic mining activity, including use of metallic minerals by Native Americans in northern and southwestern Wisconsin centuries before statehood in 1848. Lead mining activity was the primary reason that permanent settlements were established in southwest Wisconsin during the early 1820s. The southwest mining district included hundreds of small-scale mines mostly in Grant, Iowa, and Lafayette counties.

Wisconsin’s first mines exploited the shallow lead deposits. By the late 1800s, however, zinc replaced lead as the primary metal produced in the mines. The mines in southwest Wisconsin continued in operation until 1979.

In the mid- to late 1800s, small-scale iron mines were developed in Dodge and Sauk counties. These areas were actively mined for several decades. Large-scale hematite iron ore mining also began in northern Wisconsin in Iron County in the mid1800s, continuing until the mid-1960s.

Around the time of the closure of the last mine in Iron County, a new open pit iron mine was developed in Jackson County, just east of Black River Falls. The Jackson County Iron Company mine operated from 1968 until 1982. Since closure of that mine, only the Flambeau Mine in Rusk County has been developed in Wisconsin. This small, open pit copper-gold mine operated

Wisconsin's Metallic Mineral Resources Gogebic Deposit Magnetite Iron

Lynne Deposit

AshlAnd Iron Bend Deposit

Zinc Lead Silver


Copper Gold Zinc


Crandon Deposit Zinc Copper Lead Gold Silver

tAylor MArAthon

for about five years near Ladysmith in the 1990s. No metallic mineral mines are currently operating in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s Mineral Deposits Ferrous and Nonferrous

Metallic mineral deposits in Wisconsin and the Upper Great Lakes region are often segregated into two types - ferrous and nonferrous. Ferrous mineral deposits contain ore comprised of iron that can be profitably mined. Iron ore occurs in two main iron oxides: hematite and magnetite. Hematite ore is a dark red "natural" ore, mined in northern Wisconsin in the late 1800s to mid-1900s. These relatively highgrade ores contain 60-70 percent iron, were mined underground in distinct ore bodies and did not require separation or on-site processing. Magnetite is a lower grade, unaltered ore containing 20-40 percent iron. This ore, also known as taconite, must be surfacemined in open pits and is processed by magnetic separation to concentrate the iron. It is then formed into pellets for ease of handling and shipping to steel mills.

Nonferrous metallic minerals cover every other metallic-bearing mineral mined for their metal content. They include metallic oxides and hydroxides, and can contain titanium, aluminum and uranium, as well as sulfides that can contain gold, silver, copper, zinc and lead.

With the exception of the Gogebic Deposit described below, the mineral deposits in Wisconsin would all fall into the nonferrous type of deposits.

State mine regulations Reef Deposit Gold


Wisconsin’s first metallic mining permitting law was passed in 1973. Significant changes in the law and adoption of administrative rules took place in the late 1970s and early 80s. While other specific law and rule revisions have been made since then, the basic structure and requirements pertaining to metallic mine permitting have been in place for more than 30 years.

The only metallic mines permitted in Wisconsin under these laws were four of the zinc mines in southwest Wisconsin, the Jackson County Iron Mine and the Flambeau Mine. Since most of the mining conducted at the zinc mines and the Jackson County mine occurred prelaw, the permits were chiefly issued for the reclamation of the mine sites. The Flambeau Mine went through an extensive environmental review and permitting process that took over three years to complete.

It was discovered more than a century ago. A shallow shaft was constructed and very limited mining reportedly occurred in the 1920s. Exploration drilling was also conducted in the 1960s and 1980s. In 2011, a mining company purchased the option on the mineral and surface rights and has conducted exploration drilling. This is a small deposit and, if developed, would likely be a surface mine. BV

Ann Coakley is the Director of Waste and Materials Management Program for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. If you have any questions regarding metallic mining and state mining regulations, please contact Ann at or (715) 365-8957.

Today – Wisconsin’s Metallic Mineral Resources

Extensive metallic mineral reserves remain in Wisconsin. Mineral deposits containing zinc, copper, silver, gold, lead and iron are located primarily in northern Wisconsin. The deposits that have garnered recent interest are outlined below.

The Gogebic Deposit, located in the Penokee Hills of Iron and Ashland counties, is a magnetite iron deposit. Companies conducted extensive exploration drilling in the area in the 1950s and 1970s, but the deposit was never developed. An exploration license was issued to a prospective mining company in 2011; however, the company withdrew its permit before conducting exploration.

The Lynne Deposit is a zinc, lead and silver deposit located in southwestern Oneida County on land owned by the county. It was discovered in 1990 but was never developed. The Oneida County Board decided in 2012 to suspend all exploration or development activities at the site. The Crandon Deposit, located in Forest County was discovered in 1976 and is comprised of zinc, copper, lead, gold and silver. There have been two unsuccessful attempts to obtain mining permits for this deposit, and in 2003 the site was purchased by the Chippewa and Potawatomi tribes. All activity relating to mining has been terminated.

The Bend Deposit, located in Taylor County on Chequamegon National Forest property, was discovered in 1986. It is a copper deposit with gold, silver and zinc. This deposit is currently undergoing exploration to better characterize the deposit and determine its mining potential. The Reef Deposit is a primarily gold deposit located in Marathon County.

Wisconsin Business Voice


WMC in the News Steve Benzschawel, Business World Program Director, was featured on WJFW News 12 during a Mini Business World held in Rhinelander on October 30. More than 100 high school students attended the program.

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.

Cost Circles® Our award-winning Integrated Supply Model addresses three separate but related areas to determine your level of financial success:



Some Impact

Small Impact


• Administrative Costs • Manufacturing Costs • Price

“The concerns business leaders expressed in [WMC’s Economic Outlook Survey] were about policies coming out of Washington, DC, specifically involving health care, environmental protection and labor union organization.” – Jim Pugh, WMC Director of Public Relations & Issue Management, Wisconsin State Journal, November 27, 2012

Some Impact

Some Impact

“We’ve got a serious image problem in manufacturing.” – Jim Morgan, WMC Foundation President, explaining why manufacturers need to engage students and parents duringManufacturing Month last October, Green Bay Press Gazette, September 27, 2012


Reducing cost in one area is good, reducing in two areas is better, but attacking all three areas simultaneously is best.

“We believe there’s no other bill the Legislature can pass this session that will more directly result in job creation.” – Scott Manley, WMC Vice President of Government Relations, speaking about mining legislation, Bloomberg Businessweek, November 28, 2012

Small Impact W142 N9351 Fountain Blvd. Menomonee Falls, WI 53051 800-236-1975

3311 E. Capitol Dr. Appleton, WI 54911 800-236-3820

2500 N. Main St. Suite #1 East Peoria, IL 61611 800-232-0295

WMC President/CEO Kurt Bauer on Madison’s Channel 27 talking about mining during WMC’s State of Wisconsin Business event in November.

7980 Burden Rd. Machesney Park, IL 61115 800-236-3820

8301 Arrowridge Blvd. Unit F Charlotte, NC 28273 800-532-6051

Friday, March 1, 2013

Imperial Ballroom, The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee A focus on manufacturing in Wisconsin, the United States, and around the world. 7:00 a.m. Registration & Networking 7:30 a.m. Breakfast & Program 9:00 a.m. Adjourn

Jay Timmons, President & CEO, National Association of Manufacturers

Aaron Jagdfeld, Chief Executive Officer, Generac Corporation

Alan Petelinsek, President & Owner, Power Test, Inc.

Cost is $40 per person.

Sponsorship opportunities available. Visit for more information and to register. Contact Katy Pettersen with any questions,, 608.258.3400

10 Ways Wisconsin Can Break Into the Top 10 Business States in the Nation!


isconsin has leapt into the Top 20 pro-business states in the nation, according to Chief Executive Magazine and others. It’s time to break into the Top 10! It will take work and dedication, but it can be done with WMC’s comprehensive public policy agenda to lower the state’s tax burden, limit burdensome regulations, develop skilled workers and invest in needed infrastructure. Four areas of reform are needed to break into the Top 10.


Wisconsin has made significant progress in so many areas that have improved our business climate, including passing a manufacturers’ income tax credit. But, high taxes continue to burden employers. The Tax Foundation recently reported Wisconsin ranks 43rd for business tax climate.

1. Reduce the individual income tax rate by repealing the new 7.75 percent bracket created in 2009 for income greater than $230,000. 2. Reduce the corporate income tax rate by lowering the current 7.9 percent rate to the new top individual income tax rate.

3. Reduce income taxes paid by manufacturers by fully phasing in the manufacturers’ income tax credit, which virtually eliminates income taxes paid by manufacturers.


In 2011, Wisconsin enacted significant regulatory reform, including establishing a gubernatorial veto of new rules and other changes. Our work is not over.

4. Pass comprehensive iron mining reform that adds clarity, certainty and speed to the iron mining permit process while protecting our environment.

5. Standardize Wisconsin environmental and human resources regulations so state regulations are never more excessive than federal regulations. 6. Enact comprehensive lawsuit reform and ensure transparency in our legal system.

DEVELOP A BETTER-PREPARED WORKFORCE Employers struggle to find qualified, skilled workers to fill highwage positions. 7. Improve the quality of labor market data and use it to identify and align education and employment in today’s economy.

8. Ensure our educational systems are adequately preparing and counseling our students with the skill sets and information necessary to be gainfully employed in goodpaying careers.


A world-class business climate needs world-class facilities.

9. Keep major highway reconstruction projects on time by preventing delays and the ensuing cost over-runs.

10. Ensure transportation infrastructure is adequately funded by providing sustainable revenue streams.

WMC's complete policy agenda will be available on later the month. BV

State of Wisconsin Business Event WMC’s annual State of Wisconsin Business was held in Madison in November. Over 300 attendees listened to Governor Walker’s priorities as he outlined the administration’s plans for the 20132014 budget. The focus will be on workforce, education, economic development, infrastructure and lower tax burdens. The Governor put a fine point on the need for the legislature to pass meaningful mining reforms. Prior to discussing the various ways Wisconsin can continue to

Lead sponsor, The Vollrath Company, with Governor Walker.

improve its business climate, J.P. Donlon, Editor-in-Chief of Chief Executive Magazine, praised the work of Governor Walker, the legislature and Wisconsin’s business community for its leadership in enacting bold reforms. Lower tax burdens, tort reforms and reduction in cumbersome regulations resulted in record improvement in business climate rankings by Donlon’s magazine. Wisconsin went from 41 to 24 in 2011, and then jumped even further, from 24 to 20.

Governor Walker speaks to the media during the event.

Governor Walker unveiled his plan for the upcoming legislative session. Wisconsin Business Voice



Janie Ritter Director of Wisconsin Safety Council

Celebrating Safety Excellence In Wisconsin F or the past nineteen years, the Wisconsin Safety Council has partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to present Corporate Safety Awards to Wisconsin businesses who display exemplary safety records and excellence in safety and health management. These companies make safety a top priority and have taken extensive measures to assure the most valuable asset—their employees—are safe on the job. It takes dedication and effort from every single employee to achieve such admirable success. The awards are presented during the annual Wisconsin Safety & Health Conference and Expo each spring, but this summer, my staff and I traveled around the state to represent the awards to each winner on their home turf. During our visits, we joined celebrations with employees, owners and the community. The awards application process starts with companies submitting data from their OSHA 300 logs at the beginning of each year for the past year. In 2011, we saw 166 applicants, and 96 of those moved past the statistical phase to the second phase of judging. During Phase II, companies are asked to answer a series of subjective questions pertaining to their workplace safety and health programs. Winners are selected in four categories and by size, garnering 14 winners in 2011. Here in Wisconsin, we are fortunate to have so many companies who value safety and have developed a culture of safety within their organization. But a few companies went above and beyond in 2011– here are some of the highlights of things companies are doing:


1. Phillips Medical – New Richmond has 825 employees who worked 561,379 hours without a lost time injury. 2. Viking Gas Transmission Company in Chippewa Falls has gone 61 years without a lost time incident – 61 years!

3. RGL Specialty Services in Green Bay achieved over 1,000,000 work hours without an OSHA-recordable injury. 4. Tweet/Garot Mechanical, Inc. in Green Bay has achieved over 6.5 million work hours without a lost time incident.

5. Georgia-Pacific – Broadway Mill in Green Bay is part of OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and has established several regional best practices they openly share with other VPP sites. The mill is looked upon as a safety leader by the other 300 GP plants.

6. Scheck Mechanical in Kimberly developed a program called Job Aids for Working Safely or “JAWS” to help Scheck maintain a record of zero recordable incidents and zero lost time, working a total of 335,000 work hours over the last four years.

7. J.F. Ahern Company in Fond du Lac rewards field personnel who receive no OSHA citations, no adverse jobsite audit results, no late injury reports, and no lost time injuries with a prize, clearly marked with their “Safety: Pass It On” logo. 8. MAG-IAS LLC in Fond du Lac has developed a deep-rooted safety culture in all aspects of their employees work and home life. 9. Campbell Soup Supply Company LLC – Milwaukee earned an

advanced rating for the third year on the Campbell enterprise-wide audit and became the highest-rated Campbell facility worldwide.

10. We Energies in Milwaukee has an Executive Safety Committee with a commitment to zero workplace injuries; they believe it is both a personal and a corporate obligation.

11. Colony Brands, Inc. in Monroe achieved zero incidents in 79 of its 89 departments within 16 facilities.

12. Dillman Equipment in Prairie du Chien transitioned from being a company trending a 20+ incident rate in the past to their all-time low record-breaking year of 1.73. (For those unfamiliar, an incident rate is similar to the unemployment rate or a golf score – lower is better!) 13. GE Healthcare – Madison is a Star VPP Site and has 125 employees actively participating on one or more of their 15 voluntary EHS teams.

14. P hillips Plastics Corporation– Operations Center in Eau Claire had zero recordable cases, zero reportable injury frequency rate, zero lost time cases, and a zero lost workday incident rate.

It was our pleasure to recognize these great Wisconsin companies who are on their journey to safety excellence. They have much to be proud of !

If you are interested in applying for a 2012 Wisconsin Corporate Safety Award, look for our application on our website, www. The deadline for Phase I applications is January 25, 2013. BV Follow WSC on Twitter @WISafetyCouncil


Wisconsin Corporate Safety Celebrating Safety in Wisconsin


1 3





14 8 13





Environmental Best Practice

Flexible Packaging Manufacturer Touts WMC Preferred Provider to Go Green


t Glenroy, Inc., a flexible packaging manufacturer in suburban Milwaukee, they understand the benefit of going green. Coupled with major process initiatives such as converting natural gas drying of their printed films to heated compressed air, Glenroy has partnered with Heritage-Crystal Clean (HCC) to make these initiatives easier to implement. Of course, in the machine shop, Glenroy has one of Crystal Clean’s tried and true 40-gallon parts washers with solvent that is changed out on an eight-week service interval and recycled as a part of Crystal Clean’s reuse program.

Some of the maintenance and engineering crew that take care of the converting machines on the shop floor are pleased with the quality of the solvent as well as the mechanics of the parts washer. “Our old parts washer always had problems with the pump and the solvent never seemed to stay clean” said Ned Lange, who manages a crew of 13 mechanical and electrical technicians. “Since we got rid of the old parts washer and had Crystal Clean’s machine and solvent service in place, I’ve had nothing but positive comments from my guys – whenever we have to change out a gear box or just clean up some old dirty parts, the solvent always does the job and the pump works like it did on the first day we had it – and their service is great!” Another way Crystal Clean has helped Glenroy better manage its environmental issues has to do with the two Aqua-FiltrationService (AFS) units installed to remove tramp oil from the compressor blowdown. Glenroy has multiple banks of compressors to provide compressed air to the entire facility. Before the AFS units were in place, they had various problems with oil and water in the air lines and the basic oil-water separator they had in place never really did the trick. Since the units have been installed, the regular 16-week service interval had to be adjusted for the seasons.

Crystal Clean’s exceptional customer service from the Milwaukee branch worked with Ned and Jim Hillstrom, Glenroy’s Manager of Regulatory Compliance, to adjust for the changes in humidity. Now, wintertime has the AFS units serviced on the original 16-week interval, but in summer with the increased humidity, the AFS units are changed out every eight weeks. Bill Kopecky, manager of the flexographic printing department that utilizes the heated compressed air to dry the printed films, states “since we had the Crystal Clean AFS units installed, the air going to the press dryers is clean and dry like it should be.” And that’s not the only place where Glenroy and Crystal Clean partner. Every year or so, Bob Gonzales, branch sales manager at HCC's Milwaukee branch helps Mr. Hillstrom put together

a lab pack inventory to remove older and spent chemicals that accumulate at Glenroy. And of course, when Jim has drums of waste to be removed, Crystal Clean is a phone call away, and Jim loves their customer service. “The route driver is always friendly, on time and well prepared to remove whatever we have, whether it be waste coolant or process sludge.” BV

MSHA/OSHA 8-Hour Refresher Training & Compliance The Wisconsin Safety Council produces this course which meets the obligations of an 8-hour MSHA refresher and OSHA requirements all in one day. Tips on handling site inspections, a CPR/first aid refresher, and a review of most important OSHA and MSHA violations will be just a few of the topics covered. January 14, 2013  Pewaukee January 15, 2013  Wausau January 16, 2013  Madison February 11, 2013  Eau Claire February 26, 2013  Madison

For more information visit or call (800) 236.3400.

Wisconsin Business Voice



! rs a e Y g n i t a Celebr

2012 Awards

Honoring Manufacturing Excellence in Wisconsin

MOTY Nominees for 2012 Small



(0-99 Employees)

(100-299 Employees)

(300-750 Employees)

Access Battery, LLC., Milwaukee Anteco Pharma, LLC, Lodi Badger Alloys, Inc., Milwaukee Badger Magnetics, Inc., Milwaukee Gemini Plastics, Inc., De Pere HFM Packaging Ltd., Pewaukee Double K, Inc., d/b/a Hometown Trolley, Crandon J-&-R Machine, Inc., Shawano *KLH Industries, Inc., Germantown L & M Corrugated Container Corporation, Platteville M & M Tool and Mold, LLC, Green Bay *Nekoosa Coated Products, LLC., Nekoosa *Nicolet Plastics, Inc., Mountain North Wood Flooring, LLC, Coleman Olson Fabrication, Inc., Algoma Patriot Taxiway Industries, Lomira Power Test, Inc., Sussex Realityworks, Inc., Eau Claire Reed Switch Developments Corporation, Racine Sign Effectz, Inc., Milwaukee Solaris, Inc., West Allis Steel Solutions Inc, Franklin Velocity Machine, Inc., Green Bay

Automation Components, Inc., Middleton Baptista’s Bakery, Inc., Franklin, Cambridge Major Laboratories, Inc., Germantown

Alto-Shaam, Inc., Menomonee Falls *KHS USA, Inc., Waukesha Masters Gallery Foods, Inc., Plymouth *OEM Fabricators, Inc., Woodville Super Steele LLC, Milwaukee Walker Forge, Inc., Clintonville

*G & V Machine Company, Inc., Ixonia HUSCO Automotive Holdings, LLC, Whitewater *Interior Systems, Inc., Milwaukee

*Miller-St. Nazianz, Inc., St. Nazianz N.E.W. Plastics Corp., Luxemburg Processed Metal Innovators, LLC, Bloomer Res Manufacturing Company, Milwaukee Robbins Manufacturing, Inc., Fall River Saris Cycling Group, Madison Stecker Machine Company, Inc., Manitowoc The C.A. Lawton Co., De Pere *Weldall Mfg., Inc., Waukesha Winsert, Inc., Marinette *Wisconsin Plastics, Inc., Green Bay Xten Industries LLC, Kenosha *These companies also applied for the Workforce Development Grand Award.


(751+ Employees) Alliance Laundry Systems, LLC, Ripon Briggs & Stratton Corporation, Wauwatosa EVCO Plastics, Deforest Greenheck Fan Corporation, Schofield Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co., Inc., Wausau MGS Mfg. Group, Inc., Germantown Oshkosh Corporation, Oshkosh Pierce Manufacturing, Inc., Appleton Plexus Corp., Neenah Rock-Tenn Company, Adams The Vollrath Company, LLC, Sheboygan The annual awards competition is sponsored by:

Chapter of

2013 Safety Training

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.




January 16

February 19

January 14

January 17

February 20

February 13

MSHA/OSHA 8-Hour Refresher OSHA Construction Breakfast: Cranes/Aerial Lift Basics

January 28-31

Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene (FIH)

February 4-5

OSHA 10-Hour Voluntary Compliance for General Industry

February 19

Creating a World Class Safety Culture

February 25

Defensive Driving Course 8-Hour (DDC)

February 26

MSHA/OSHA 8-Hour Refresher

March 20

RCRA Compliance for Hazardous Waste Generators Overview

March 20

DOT Hazmat Transportation Refresher

March 21

OSHA Construction Breakfast: OSHA Update & Ladder Safety

May 6-8

Instructor Development Course: First Aid/Adult CPR/ AED

May 13-16

Safety Training Methods (STM)

May (date to be determined)

OSHA Construction Breakfast: Health Hazards/Basics of Respirator Programs

8th Annual Food Processors Safety Conference/Expo Fall Protection

April 22-24

71st Annual Safety & Health Conference/Expo Seminars at the Conference Coaching the Lift Truck Operator, Train-the-Trainer Effective Team Safety Ergonomics: Managing for Results Incident Investigation: Root Cause Analysis NFPA 70E Compliance Requirements Analyzing Workplace Exposures Using Direct Reading

Instruments - A Safety Specialist's Toolbox

Active Shooter/Emergency Planning/Workplace Violence Fall Protection Aerial Lift Training for ANSI A92 Compliance First Aid/CPR/AED Recertification OSHA 10-Hour Voluntary Compliance Course for

General Industry

MSHA/OSHA 8-Hour Refresher Coaching the Emergency Vehicle Operator (CEVO III) Fire/ Ambulance

March 19

Effective Team Safety

April 15-18

Worker’s Compensation Case Management & Workplace Anatomy

May 8

Supervisor Development: Safety & Health Fundamentals


Coaching the Lift Truck Operator, Train-the-Trainer

March 4-7

OSHA 30-Hour Voluntary Compliance for General Industry

June 17

Lockout/Tagout, Train-the-Trainer

June 19

Incident Investigation: A Root Cause Analysis



January 15

February 11

MSHA/OSHA 8-Hour Refresher

February 15

MSHA/OSHA 8-Hour Refresher

Job Safety Analysis

May 20-23

OSHA 30-Hour Voluntary Compliance Course for General Industry

When WMC engaged in establishing October as Manufacturing Month, we set out to raise awareness of the value manufacturing brings to Wisconsin’s economy, promote the good paying opportunities the industry offers, and celebrate the quality Wisconsin manufacturing is known for worldwide. Hundreds of newspaper stories were written, television and radio interviews took place throughout the Badger State, and articles were posted online. Thousands of messages were sent out through trade associations, local chambers of commerce, and educational groups. And employers opened up their facilities to students, parents, counselors and educators so they could see first-hand what advanced manufacturing looks like.

Join us for the Second Annual Workforce Conference March 21 at Briggs & Stratton Corporation’s world headquarters in Wauwatosa.

Made in Wisconsin Plymouth Foam

The last piece of kitchen or bathroom exhaust equipment you purchased likely had some protective foam packaging cradling the unit so it fit perfectly into the box. And that protective foam packaging likely came from Plymouth Foam in Sheboygan County. Plymouth Foam Inc, founded in 1978, has become one of the nation’s leading converters of EPS (expanded polystyrene) and flexible foams for a variety of market segments. They employ 170 dedicated people who create packaging, insulation and building products that ship to locations all across the country. So the next time you’re meandering through the mall and see a kiosk of foam airplanes, rest assured those toys probably came from Wisconsin’s own Plymouth Foam.

Link Snacks, Inc. dba Jack Link’s Beef Jerky

You’ve probably seen the packages of tasty treats in practically every convenience store, grocery store, big box store and gas station you go into, but did you know Jack Link’s Beef Jerky is a proud Wisconsin company? Founded in 1987 in Minong, the company headquarters sits in Washburn County just west of the Chequamegon Forest in northern Wisconsin. Combined with its New Glarus, Wisconsin location, Jack Link’s Beef Jerky employs over 900 people in the state alone and almost 3,000 worldwide. Jack Link’s is the number one meat snack manufacturer in North America, the fastest-growing meat snack manufacturer in the world, and sells more than 100 different meat snack products in more than 40 countries. And let’s not forget about those Messin’ with Sasquatch commercials that have hit the airways in recent years, remember to always “Feed Your Wild Side.”


On your way to work in the morning, you have probably witnessed workers inspecting or fixing downed power lines or trimming tree limbs over power lines utilizing a utility bucket truck. That truck very well may have been manufactured by DUECO, Inc. in Waukesha County. DUECO was founded in 1955 and is the largest final stage manufacturer of Terex Utilities bucket trucks and digger derricks in the nation. This family-owned company also provides articulating cranes and supporting equipment from the Dakotas to the East Coast. DUECO employs 350 employees dedicated to ensuring long-term customer satisfaction, which means providing highly reliable trucks and support that help keep the power on for all. A sister company, Utility Equipment Leasing Corporation, has a fleet of several hundred trucks on rent or lease throughout the U.S. Recently, both companies were recognized for providing crews and equipment to support Hurricane Sandy clean-up. So, if you see a DUECO utility vehicle on the evening news, be proud to know it was made in Wisconsin.

J.W. Speaker Corporation

You can credit this company with helping make sure our military didn’t go hungry during WWII. Founded in 1935, Germantown’s own J.W. Speaker Corporation developed the “P38” GI can opener after a successful run producing tire repair equipment and kits, radiator fronts, and side mirrors. After the War, the company returned to their roots and is now focused on developing innovative, high-tech lighting solutions for agriculture, construction, on-road commercial, material handling, mining, motorcycle, recreation and aviation markets around the world. Serving OEMs and the aftermarket alike, this familyowned company designs, manufactures and assembles their products in Germantown. They currently employ 400 people.

Contact Samantha Sepic, if you are interested in having your product featured in Wisconsin Business Voice.

Wisconsin Business Voice


What will it Take to Mak By State Senator Lena Taylor (D-4th District)


isconsin can be number one in business. We simply need to take advantage of our most valuable resource: our people. We need an educated workforce to take advantage of the benefits offered by a highly evolved and everchanging globalized economy. This means investing in both four-year and two-year institutions. It also means refocusing on Milwaukee, the city by the lake that will have to be at the center of any viable future jobs plan. I believe that within the cultural fabric of this state lies Wisconsin’s greatest potential to succeed. We are proud of being from Wisconsin, and for good reason. We have inherited a cultural and political tradition of caring about our neighbors. We call it “Wisconsin nice.”

However, we also call it the Wisconsin Idea. At their root, I believe these concepts are one and the same. We care about our growth, and we work to fulfill our potential by investing in our people. The University

of Wisconsin System was founded upon that principle: when we educate our entire population, everyone wins. Yet, I believe we may be beginning to lose our way.

People need to know their government is invested in their success. Today, public investment in the average UW student is at a historic low, and tuition has been raised time and time again with no end in sight. In a tough economy, how can most people afford to put themselves through school? And if they choose not to, what does that do to the rest of us? Investing in people is more than morally correct, it is crucial to our progress as an economy. Businesses aware of our highly educated population will know they have a fantastic pool of prospective hires. This also goes for the intermediate-skilled jobs businesses across the country consistently say they have a hard time filling. The long-term advantages of a population with marketable skills learned from two-year trade schools cannot be undersold.

And whatever happened to making Wisconsin a hub for the future of Biotech? In the past, we supported a fantastic tradition of scientific research at UWMadison. Now, we can look forward to a bright future capitalizing on the

experimental patents, for example in stem cell research. That is, if we can write public policy properly.

Finally, we need to understand the centrality of Milwaukee to any viable Wisconsin jobs plan of the future. The fact is we live in an urbanizing society, where the majority of wealth created is often created in cities. Young, upwardly mobile and educated people want to live and work in a city that is appealing to them.

These young professionals are hard working and ambitious. They often do not own cars and expect to use public transportation. Unfortunately, we are all aware of the state of Milwaukee’s public transportation. The young professionals often expect access to the arts and music, and I fear public investment in Milwaukee has lagged in this field as well. Investment in education and infrastructure may seem like too easy a solution to truly make Wisconsin competitive in the business world. But that is not the case. When we invest intelligently, we receive far more than we ever gave. When we invest in our people, our people succeed. BV Senator Taylor represents a portion of Milwaukee County. She may be reached at (608) 266-5810.

Three manufacturing-focused events coming to Milwaukee Celebrating 25 Ye

Manufacturing Matters! Conference February 27-28, 2013 Hyatt Hotel



Manufacturer of the Year Awards February 28, 2013 The Pfister Hotel

Focus on Manufacturing Breakfast Friday, March 1, 2013 The Pfister Hotel

ke Wisconsin Number One? By State Senator Alberta Darling (R-8th District)


or the first time in a long time in Wisconsin our phones have stopped ringing. We can watch television without negative ads and we are finally catching our breath from perpetual elections. However, this is no time to rest. Next session, jobs will be my top priority as we continue with efforts to make Wisconsin’s business climate the best in the nation.

Job creators want certainty. One thing they can be certain of is that we will be responsible with their hard-earned tax dollars. Thanks to responsible budgeting, the state of Wisconsin will deposit $108.7 million into the rainy day fund – the largest contribution in state history. Our state enters the next budget with a projected surplus of $261 million.

Not that long ago we as a state were in deep trouble. We faced a $3.6 billion deficit, with jobs and opportunities fleeing the state. We lost 150,000 jobs, unemployment was over 9% and only 10% of business leaders thought Wisconsin was headed in the right direction. Republicans and Governor Walker have turned that around and provided a stable environment to grow jobs. Currently, I am working on a fivepoint plan to do just that. 1. Make higher education access more affordable, more flexible, and more practical for Wisconsin residents The University of Wisconsin System is working on an innovative program, the first of its kind in the nation, called the Flex Degree, which will help people obtain UW degrees at

their own pace and give them credit for knowledge they already have. Students will be able to take classes, test, or use their prior experiences to earn credits toward a UW degree or certificate. This flexibility will be important to help implement the ideas being worked on by the Be Bold 2 Committee. I am proud to be a part of the Be Bold 2 group working with business leaders, union leaders, job creators and educators. The goal of our group is to retain and attract good jobs and to compete globally for employers, talent and profits. As a State Senator I often hear from job creators that our schools and universities are not producing workers with the skills they need. Be Bold 2 is a bi-partisan effort to help change that.

2. Lower taxes Taxes are still too high. This session, I expect the Governor to introduce meaningful tax relief and to roll back more of the tax hikes Democrats created during Governor Doyle’s term. Working families need help in these tough economic times. Tax relief will mean that more of their hard earned dollars stay in their pocket. 3. Help turn good ideas into good paying jobs I continue to work on Venture Capital legislation that will boost access to capital for entrepreneurs and build a network of angel investors to get good ideas off the ground. Especially in this tough economy, it is crucial to give small business people the tools they need to get off the ground. An investment at the state level will help ensure

good paying jobs are created and kept.

4. Send a strong message that we will work with job creators Last session we tried restoring Wisconsin’s tradition of good paying jobs that can’t be shipped overseas, by returning the mining industry to our state. However, we fell one vote shy. Unfortunately, that vote became more about trying to make Scott Walker lose his job than it was about providing jobs to thousands of folks in our state. That vote sent the wrong message to job creators throughout the nation, and that message was that they weren’t welcome here. I hope to change that perception next session when we pass a mining bill that restores environmentally safe mining in our state. 5. Tell the world Wisconsin has been the center of the political universe for the last two years. We need to make sure the job creators know that reforms are still happening here and their business is more welcome than ever. We are lucky to have two great cheerleaders for our state in Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch. We all know that Wisconsin is the best place in the nation to live – make sure you tell your friends about all the exciting things happening in the state we all love. On Wisconsin! BV Senator Darling represents portions of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties. She may be reached at (608)266-5830.

Wisconsin Business Voice



Our Road to Business Advocacy By Jeff Zriny, President/CEO, Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce In the Beginning

Early in my tenure with the Wausau Region Chamber, I had an opportunity to visit with executives from some of our largest member businesses. I learned we were not meeting their expectations as it related to our advocacy efforts. While a committee did exist, it did not have a focused agenda.

So, in order to get focused, I first turned to Jim Morgan at WMC to present to our Business Advocacy Committee (BAC) and ultimately to our Board of Directors. Jim provided a general vision of Chamber business advocacy initiatives. But we wanted more. From there I spoke to three other chambers to get into the specifics. They were extremely helpful in sharing their unique approach to advocacy.

The Journey Begins

In late 2011, we began our search process for a Director of Government Affairs. The board created operating principles/rules of engagement:  

educate and inform members

provide easy access to objective information for members

remain bipartisan but promote business interests keep final decisions on official statements at the Board level.

In early January of 2012, Betsy Keefe joined our staff to begin this process. Working closely with Tom Schuette of Wausau Homes, we enhanced the advocacy committee. First, the committee developed this belief statement to focus their activities:

“The Business Advocacy Committee is guided by a belief that competitive free markets, limited government, private initiative, and personal responsibility are essential to our democratic way of life. Inherent in this belief is the basic tenet that businesses operate in an ethical manner.” 36

Venturing into Turbulent Waters

When we started down this path in early 2012, the political environment was very heated. We did not let this environment deter our efforts. We built the first part of our plan – an advocacy website designed to provide members ease of access to information and services, including a tool to contact elected officials. This website was completed in early March.

In addition to hosting legislative luncheons, the BAC developed specific survey questions for candidates running in state and federal races. The responses to these surveys were presented on the advocacy website. An informational piece was developed for the gubernatorial recall to help members understand the recall process and the impact of Act 10 on local budgets. During the Republican Senatorial primary, listening sessions were conducted with candidates to allow the Board and BAC to have informal conversations with each of the candidates.

Moving into the November elections, we developed surveys for all races in which the candidates could state their position. In the race for the U.S. Senate, we developed a specific set of business related statements and asked each candidate to respond from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The committee is now turning its focus to candidate development for local races including city council, school boards and the county board. In many instances, these governing bodies could benefit from a strong business perspective.

Lessons Learned

As I look back at the past year of the enhanced advocacy activities I am pleased with the results. Throughout the process, we maintained our business-based focus and never endorsed specific candidates. We helped our members understand where candidates stood on business-related issues. We also learned some candidates have a predisposition not to respond to our survey

questionnaires –a missed opportunity. In these situations, we left their responses blank and indicated the candidate chose not to respond.

You may question the value of an active advocacy program. Four solid reasons come to mind: 1. Members look for credible businessrelated information on candidates, voting records or positions on proposed legislation. 2. Businesses need representation and a united voice on business-related issues.

3. Chambers can provide members easy access to elected officials through avenues including an advocacy website and legislative briefings, luncheons, and legislator visits.

4. Members want educational information they can share with their employees.

An investment in an advocacy program strengthens the community and builds business success. You want your members to look to you for this type of support.

We have come a long way over the past twelve months and there is much more we want to accomplish in 2013. We are fortunate to have an energized committee, strong support from WMC and a membership that wants more.BV Jeff Zriny is the President & CEO of the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce. He may be reached at (715) 8485946.

Wisconsin Business Voice January 2013  

Wisconsin Business Voice is the official publication of WMC, Wisconsin's chamber of commerce, manufacturers' association and safety council.