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Official magazine of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

Free Enterprise: How are we faring in Wisconsin?

Inside:  The American Dream Supreme Court Elections: Past & Future June is Safety Month Detachable Legislative Directory

April 2013: Issue 6


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BUSINESS VOICE From the Editor WMC was literally founded to protect free enterprise. The year was 1911 and Governor Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette wanted to increase regulations and raise taxes on businesses. In fact, La Follette, who is referred to as a prophet by state progressives today, advocated a 70 percent corporate tax rate. Faced with a political environment that in many ways parallels today’s, complete with the general vilification of economic freedom, WMC’s founders included the following in their preamble: “To the thoughtful citizen, it is apparent that the tendency of the times is to antagonize rather than to encourage activities, which make for the country’s material advancement and prosperity. The pendulum of public opinion has swung to extremes and has caused apprehension and uncertainty where confidence and certainty should prevail. Political and social unrest find expression in extreme measures, which seriously disturb economic stability.” Today, WMC continues to be the voice of Wisconsin business and industry at the Capitol. Our job is to advance policies that allow businesses of every size and from every sector of the economy to prosper. We aim to make Wisconsin the most competitive state in the nation.

In this issue…

Free Enterprise Page 5

Regulation and the Erosion of Free Enterprise

Scott Manley, WMC Vice President of Government Relations, talks about the harmful role excessive regulation can play on business.

Page 12

The American Dream vs. the Liberal Dream

Guest Columnist David Azerrad from The Heritage Foundation, displays the stakes involved with letting the American dream slip away.

Page 18

Free Enterprise: Capitalism isn’t a Four-letter Word

This edition’s feature article focuses on capitalism and the importance of America’s envied free market system.

Page 30-31

What should be the Role of Government in Free Enterprise?

Wisconsin Senators Jennifer Shilling (D-32nd District) and Scott Fitzgerald (R-13th District) give their take on what role government should play in business.

Feature Columns Page 2

The New War Between the States

Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO, dissects the way other states’ governors are attracting business.

Page 8

We Need to Talk

Jim Morgan, WMC Foundation President, talks about vouchers, charter schools and public education.

Page 11

June is Safety Month

Janie Ritter, Wisconsin Safety Council Director, highlights the National Safety Council’s initiative to promote June as National Safety Month.

Page 14

Real World Experience… Life Changing Results

Steve Benzschawel, Wisconsin Business World Director, looks back on 30+ years of free enterprise programs teaching the next generation how to be business leaders.

Page 25

Minimum Wage: It Doesn’t Have to be Us vs. Them

Katy Ryder Pettersen Editor, Wisconsin Business Voice

Chris Reader, WMC’s new Director of Health & Human Resources Policy, reviews the case against increasing the minimum wage.

Page 27

Embrace the Industrial Renaissance

Eric Bott, WMC’s new Director of Environment & Energy Policy, discusses the revolution in unconventional oil and natural gas production.

Page 29

Developments in Transportation and the Impact on Wisconsin’s Economy Jason Culotta, WMC Director of Tax & Transportation Policy, talks about transportation and intermodal containers.

Page 35

Roggensack Wins Re-election

Jim Pugh, WMC Director of Public Relations & Issue Management, talks about WMC’s efforts to educate Wisconsin’s public about the Supreme Court.

Guest Columns Page 7

Going Global? You’re Not Alone! Wisconsin Business Voice is published quarterly by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. WMC is Wisconsin’s chamber of commerce, manufacturers’ association, and safety council representing businesses of all sizes and from every sector of the economy. Send address changes to WMC, P.O. Box 352, Madison, WI 53701-0352. WMC's physical address is 501 E. Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53703, (608) 258-3400. This publication is proudly printed on paper made in Wisconsin. Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO Katy Pettersen, Editor ( Jane Sutter, Designer (

WEDC Secretary and CEO Reed Hall introduces the assistance his department can give to companies looking to expand globally.

Page 26

Knowledge Powers Wisconsin’s Economy

Kevin Reilly, President of the University of Wisconsin System, describes our economy as one driven by knowledge and innovation.

Page 36

Chamber Corner: Work Today

Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce President Randall Upton introduces Wisconsin to Beloit’s newest workforce development initiative.

The New War Between the States Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO


overnor Rick Scott of Florida loves it when governors in other states raise taxes and add regulatory burdens on business. He told a winter gathering of state chamber executives that it plays right into his plan to attract (other governors might say poach) as many businesses to the Sunshine State as possible.

them. The story said “core values” in those states were far more “employer friendly.” A business relocation specialist quoted by KCRA said businesses decide to move because of the same three factors we at WMC refer to as “the trinity;” 1) taxes, including fees like worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance, 2) regulations, including permitting timelines and 3) exposure to frivolous lawsuits. Other businesses in those states may not be leaving, but many aren’t expanding there either.

The competition for business relocation and expansion between states isn’t a friendly rivalry. It’s been heated at times because there is a lot at stake. It’s not just about jobs and the economic growth, tax revenue and high approval ratings for politicians that come with them. It’s also about validating the very different views each political party has about how to create prosperity. Republicans believe in private sector-driven economic policies, while Democrats pursue governmentdriven ones. It’s Milton Friedman versus Paul Krugman. Businesses tend to side with Friedman and the Republicans, which is why you see more GOP governors recruiting companies from states with Democratic governors than the other “The crazier the way around.

“The crazier the [anti-business] proposal, the better,” he said at the conference held in his home state. The first-term Republican then half-jokingly told my counterpart from Minnesota he hopes Democrat Governor Mark Dayton succeeds in enacting a big tax hike and raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour. “It makes us even more attractive and competitive,” Scott said.

But Scott isn’t just selling his state’s business climate. Referring to the gorgeous 80 degree-plus day outside in early February, Scott said his opening line when pitching [anti-business] proposal, Wisconsin has attempted to take Florida to Midwestern business CEOs is “what’s the temperature like up there?” advantage of its rise in many of the the better.” He follows that question with another one major business rankings by contacting he already knows the answer to. “What’s businesses in Illinois and Minnesota. State the tax rate in your state?” Florida doesn’t have an Rep. Erik Severson (R-Star Prairie) sent a letter to individual income tax and is in the process of eliminating its Minnesota businesses touting Wisconsin’s balanced budget corporate tax as well. and improved business climate. Scott in Florida did the same Scott’s pro-business strategy begs the question; why do governors in states such as California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York pursue tax and regulatory policies employers consider hostile to job growth? The answer is part ideological and part political. Many are Keynesians who believe making business pay their “fair share” feeds the government spending that, in their mind, creates economic activity. It also appeals to their base which includes special interest groups that directly benefit from high government spending. (See David Azerrad’s column on page 12.)

thing in New York. Texas Governor Rick Perry took the approach a step further by running radio ads in California that said “Come to Texas.”

Some states may be losing that bet. A recent report by KCRA-TV in Sacramento identified two dozen businesses that have already left, or are in the process of leaving, California for greener pastures in Arizona and Texas and taking their employees – i.e. consumers and taxpayers – with

Like Walker, Scott is unnerved by the runaway spending at the federal level with a national debt approaching $17 trillion. He said his goal is to put Florida in the best position possible for “the inevitable day of reckoning.” BV

I posed that same question to Scott after his remarks. “They are betting businesses won’t leave,” he said.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Minnesota’s Dayton have had terse rebuttals to Governor Walker when he has compared Wisconsin’s budget surplus, achieved without tax increases, to deficits in Illinois and Minnesota. Scott told me during a brief one-on-one conversation after his formal remarks that he has been watching what Walker is doing in Wisconsin and is impressed. He agrees that controlling state spending gives states an advantage far beyond simply keeping and attracting businesses.

Follow Kurt on Twitter @Kurt_R_Bauer 2

FREE ENTERPRISE: IN OUR OWN WORDS We asked business leaders what free enterprise means to them. Below are a few of the responses along with some well-known thoughts from Friedman and Jefferson.

“A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.” – Milton Friedman To me “Free Enterprise” means just that – the freedom to conduct business in an “open” and “fair” environment. It ensures quality and cost effectiveness. – Jim King, President, Skyward, Inc., Stevens Point

America’s genius is found in its economic freedom: the ability to buy, sell, produce, create, trade, and own are just a few of the freedoms that drive free enterprise. Whenever countries allow people do what they like to do, economies work better. Government coercion and control distorts incentives and limits innovation. Free enterprise, on the other hand, fosters the courage and hope to disrupt old routines and produce new products, new services, and often a whole new way of doing business. Entrepreneurship is a never ending process of progress pushing and promoting economic flourishing. – Barry Asmus, Senior Economist, NCPA

“Agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are the most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise.” – Thomas Jefferson Free Enterprise is the freedom to create and produce products and services with one’s own resources, capital and personal efforts without encumbering restrictions, regulations or favorable subsidies from or by and level of government. It flourishes in a laissez faire environment where entrepreneurs can, of their own free will, strive to fulfill their own desires and needs. It is the freedom to pursue opportunities, to invest, take risks, fail, succeed, innovate, improve, profit and ultimately create prosperity. It is best guided by the “invisible hand” through competitive free market capitalism to ultimately produce personal achievement and thereby the improvement of all of society. – Cap Wulf, Owner & President, Wulf Brothers, Sturgeon Bay

The freedom to run your business without constant interference from the government. - Robert Peaslee, President, Manitowoc Grey Iron Foundry, Inc., Manitowoc

“Free enterprise means that little companies like Nicolet have a chance to make a difference. Mostly we learn from our mistakes and hope that we don’t make one so big that it takes us out. There is an abundance of great competition out there so it’s hard to be significantly better than your competition, so you find a way to be different.” – Bob MacIntosh, President/CEO, Nicolet Plastics

apprenticeship : works for wisconsin.

workers for you. Better workers produce Better work. That’s the idea behind training apprentices. Because more skilled, more knowledgeable, more loyal employees make your company more productive. And a more productive company is a more profitable company. Learn more at


Scott Manley WMC Vice President of Government Relations

Regulation and the Erosion of Free Enterprise F ree enterprise is generally understood to be the freedom of private businesses to operate competitively for profit with minimal government regulation.

Why is the level of government regulation important to free enterprise? Perhaps the answer is best illustrated by the example of entrepreneurship, a fundamental component of free enterprise. Government does not create jobs, entrepreneurs do. While this axiom of free market philosophy is obvious to many, less obvious is the negative role that government regulation has on job creation.

Excessive regulation, for example, has the potential to stifle entrepreneurship by strangling businesses with bureaucratic red tape. The economic cost of regulation itself stymies job creation because it diverts capital that could otherwise be invested in new employees or higher wages, to instead pay the cost of regulatory compliance. Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman characterized government regulation as having “imposed heavy costs on industry after industry to meet increasingly detailed and extensive government requirements…they have required capital to be invested for nonproductive purposes in ways specified by government bureaucrats.”

In 1980, Friedman was alarmed by the growing intervention of the Environmental Protection Agency in the free market, noting the agency “has imposed costs on industry and local and state governments to meet its standards that total in the tens of billions of dollars a year.” Decades later, the concern with the growing cost regulation, and its adverse impact on free enterprise, has only amplified. Regulatory costs are no longer measured in billions of dollars, they amount to trillions.

Analysts at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a respected free market think tank, estimate today’s regulatory costs at $1.75 trillion. These costs equate to $10,585 per employee for small businesses, and roughly $7,500 per employee for medium and large employers.

What if employers didn’t need to spend so much money on regulation? Consider the enormity of the positive economic impact that would result if employers were able to invest even half of their compliance costs per employee in higher wages or capital expansion.

These missed economic opportunities underscore the corrosive effect of regulation on free enterprise. They also illustrate the ridiculousness of frequent assertions by Obama Administration officials that federal regulations create jobs.

It is important to recognize a certain amount of regulation is necessary to ensure any economic system operates in a fair and voluntary manner and that the interests of individuals are protected. However, do we really need an average of more than 3,500 new rules each year, or 169,301 pages of federal regulations to promote a level playing field?

The federal government defines as “economically significant” any rule that will cost at least $100 million each year. In 2011, there were 212 “economically significant” rules either completed or pending from a variety of federal agencies. At a minimum, those rules would impose a staggering $21.2 billion in new costs to businesses and consumers each year. Given the trajectory we are on for increasingly numerous and expensive regulations, it should come as no surprise that the cost of regulation is beginning to outstrip traditional economic benchmarks.

For example, the $1.75 trillion cost for regulation in 2011 was more than individual income taxes ($956 billion), corporate income taxes ($198 billion), corporate pretax profits ($1.3 trillion) and the annual deficit ($1.29 trillion). It’s difficult to imagine long-term sustainable growth in an economy whose regulatory costs have reached that magnitude.

Regulations are increasingly eroding the foundation of free enterprise with growing intrusion into the marketplace by government. They are adding unnecessary cost, delay and complexity to our economy that ultimately result in the nonproductive diversion of capital. The cascading impact of these costs are making businesses less competitive, and are stifling economic growth. Will federal lawmakers take back their rightful role as regulatory decision makers, or will they continue to allow unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats to thwart free enterprise by burying our economy in regulations and red tape? BV Follow Scott on Twitter @ManleyWMC

Wisconsin Business Voice


Made in Wisconsin Dickten Masch Plastics The last time you wondered if your car needed an oil change you probably popped open the hood and used a fluid level indicator - better known as a “dipstick” - to measure the level of the oil. That dipstick most likely came from Dickten Masch Plastics, located in Waukesha County. Dickten Masch is a partner to leading OEMs in automotive, medical, hand and power tools and other markets. The company delivers complete, high-quality assemblies of a variety of complex components and finished products such as automotive dipsticks and tubes. Originally a tooling shop, Dickten Masch Plastics began molding custom thermoset components for the small appliance and electrical industries in the 1940s. They expanded into thermoplastic molding in the following decade and now employ 520 people in four locations.


You have probably witnessed high school students caring for life-like infants as part of a simulation project for their Home Economics, Family and Consumer Sciences, or Early Childhood Education classes, but did you know there is a good chance that those infant simulators are designed and assembled in Wisconsin? Realityworks is an experiential learning technology company employing 60 people, whose award-winning programs provide students with realistic learning experiences used by educators in career and technical education programs as well as government and social service agencies worldwide. Realityworks RealCare® infant simulators offer reallife experiences that address substance abuse education, prenatal education, child care skills, infant safety and CPR and Shaken Baby Syndrome. Realityworks has had the privilege of being featured by numerous media outlets including Dr. Phil, Good Morning America and Project Runway, to name a few.


Colony Brands, Inc.

Nearly every one of us has given or received a gift basket full of assorted meats and cheeses or a box of chocolates. Those gifts more than likely came from The Swiss Colony in Green County. Since 1961 The Swiss Colony and its affiliated businesses have grown by leaps and bounds, from cheese and food gifts to general merchandise encompassing several different brands. Today, the Swiss Colony (recently renamed Colony Brands to reflect the diversity of companies) is one of the largest direct marketers in the United States and employs more than 1,000 regular employees and about 4,500 temporary employees in 12 communities across the Midwest. Colony Brands, Inc. provides customers with furniture and home décor, apparel, entertaining products, gifts and collectibles and much more. The Swiss Colony, LLC subsidiary was formed to continue to sell cheese, pastries, sausage and other food and gift items through the Swiss Colony® catalogs and web site.

American Orthodontics

You can credit this Sheboygan County company with helping orthodontists give every patient the smile they deserve! American Orthodontics, founded in 1968, is the world’s largest privately held manufacturer of orthodontic appliances, with more than 600 employees worldwide, serving customers in more than 100 countries. AO is a global company with a local heart, manufacturing 95 percent of their product offering at their state-of-the–art manufacturing facility in Sheboygan. In its 45 year history, AO has never had one layoff, and has exceeded prior years’ sales each and every year, largely due to its ability to innovate new products and manufacturing technologies. American Orthodontics is a true orthodontic industry leader, committed to providing customers quality products, dependable delivery, and personalized service. So the next time you see someone with braces grinning from ear to ear, remember that the brackets, bands, and wire were most likely made in Wisconsin!

Going Global? You,re Not Alone! Global Opportunities and Assistance for Businesses in Wisconsin

By Reed E. Hall, Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation


here’s a world of opportunities for Wisconsin businesses. With 96 percent of the world’s population consuming products outside the U.S. and one billion people expected to join the global middle class in the next decade, Wisconsin businesses need to aggressively seek opportunities outside U.S. borders.

Equipment for farming, water purification and energy production are among the goods that present long-term growth opportunities.

The world’s population recently surpassed 7 billion and the United Nations predicts it could reach 9 billion by 2050. Where is this growth and associated opportunity occurring?

WEDC’s team of Market Development Directors are the first points of contact for businesses to get assistance identifying needs and answering questions about a global market. Our team works with other state agencies and trade representatives in 36 countries to provide the insights and contacts businesses need to develop and execute market-specific business development strategies.

Wisconsin has benefited from a booming export economy, especially when it comes to high-quality manufactured products, medical technologies and agricultural products. Exports of Wisconsin goods exceeded $23.1 billion in 2012.

China is the world’s most populous country with just over 1.3 billion people. One in every five people on the planet is a resident of China. India is home to 1.2 billion people, or 17 percent of the world’s population. In the past decade, India’s population grew by 181 million. That represents an increase nearly equal to the entire population of Brazil. By 2030, it’s predicted India will overtake China as the world’s most populous nation.

Brazil is the sixth most populous country in the world after China, India, the United States, Indonesia and the Russian Federation. Its population is approximately 185 million and has a growing middle class, with 62 percent of Brazilians under 29 years of age. Wisconsin has strong opportunities for selling its manufactured goods to overseas markets. Wisconsin exported $7.3 billion of industrial machinery in 2012, representing about 31 percent of total exports.

in March, the Governor’s Trade Mission to China in April and a trade venture to Australia in May.

Also vital is foreign direct investment in The Wisconsin Economic Development Wisconsin businesses. WEDC is working Corporation (WEDC) has helped to connect foreign investors to Wisconsin hundreds of Wisconsin companies grow companies in ways that create jobs, expand their export business. WEDC stands supply chains, open doors to new markets ready to help Wisconsin companies gain and provide needed investment dollars. the insights needed to tap Wisconsin cannot international markets and Exports of Wisconsin possibly consume or help them get their foot sell everything it in the door of markets goods exceeded produces at home or around the world. even nationally. That’s

$23.1 billion in 2012.

WEDC’s trade representatives are business consultants who can provide businesses with a detailed market and/or product analysis that will help them develop a market entry strategy and select the right partners to succeed in the market. The trade representatives will also provide assistance to arrange meetings with businesses in the global market.

why exports and foreign investment are important elements to the success of trade for Wisconsin businesses. The global market provides Wisconsin the opportunity to build, produce and grow what the world needs – and to attract investments from markets that understand the state’s strengths. Visit WEDC online at www.inwisconsin. com/international to grow your business. BV Reed E. Hall, Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Visit for more information.

Our Export Development Grants and International Market Access Grants help companies lay the foundation for new export strategies or build upon existing export programs.

WEDC has organized numerous incountry trade events in 2013 to introduce new markets to Wisconsin businesses, including a trade venture to South Africa

Wisconsin Business Voice



Jim Morgan WMC Foundation President

We Need to Talk “W e need to talk.” Those are four words you never want to hear from your teacher, your boss, your parent or your spouse!

Full disclosure: I am from a mixed marriage. I work for WMC and my wife is a public school teacher in Madison. More disclosure: Our children are graduates of both public and private high schools. Still more disclosure: I don’t believe my wife and I have ever voted for the same person . . . EVER! With that being said, life is never boring.

So to ensure that things stay lively, I decided to wade into the waters of vouchers, charter schools and public education the other night at home, and a spirited discussion ensued. I stepped into the ocean of education reform because I have been fascinated by the recent “dialogue” in the public forum. To read or listen to the debate, you can only come to one of two conclusions: 1) public schools are a disaster, no one is getting a quality education, the public monopoly is destroying our country and the only way to save it is wide-open competition through school vouchers and more charter school autonomy, or 2) the unaccountable, school choice program is sucking the financial life out of the very foundation of our country and our public schools are fantastic, thank you very much! If only life were that simple.

Getting back to the family “discussion,” my wife very clearly articulates the challenges facing an urban middle school. She can list the initiatives put into place to deal with controllable factors within the school and some programs to deal with uncontrollable factors outside the school. And she provides an interesting case study in education where you have students in a system for 13 years but leadership that is churning every two or three years and changing direction just as often. 8

I counter with the need for innovation and the fact that history shows a monopoly is rarely an agent of change, and outside pressure and innovation can often improve results for everyone. Using Madison as an example, we have had an achievement gap for more than 25 years and we continue to reject any ideas that are outside the protected system.

And from there, the back and forth begins. As you listen to the polarized debate, it seems we want to attack an enemy and ideology more so than we want to solve the problem, and that led me to some research we did in the Foundation 20 years ago looking at the characteristics of successful schools. We went nationwide looking for consensus on what went into a quality school, tested those characteristics with educational leaders in Wisconsin, publicized them and, through a WMC Foundation awards program, recognized schools and districts for demonstrating them. They were:

1) High expectations of both students and teachers 2) Clear vision

3) Strong leadership 4) Teamwork

5) Strong staff development 6) Appropriate curriculum 7) Safe, clean and orderly environment

8) Genuine accountability

9) Recognition and reward for excellence

10) Community and parental support Those still look pretty good today.

I had the opportunity to have this same conversation with a number of educators at our Workforce Paradox Conference in

March and many suggested we re-institute a recognition program for schools doing exceptional work. As a result, in an effort to improve the dialogue around quality education, the WMC Foundation will again consider implementing our Excellence in Education awards to recognize those who are leading the way. We will make a formal announcement in the coming months.

In the meantime, the debate will continue… in spirited households like mine, as well as in the town square. I would encourage the debaters to focus the discussion on the 10 characteristics above. In other words… we need to talk. BV Follow Morgan on Twitter @JimMorgan1960

Excellence in Education Awards More information coming soon.

Hiring Wisconsin’s Heroes The U.S. currently has a shortage of skilled workers that is projected to get worse. Filling that worker pipeline isn’t as easy as one would think given the 7.6 percent national unemployment rate. It is a paradox and there isn’t a one-size-fitsall solution. But one piece of the puzzle can be the patriotic men and women who have served in the National Guard.

WMC’s Kurt Bauer serves on the American Jobs for America’s Heroes (AJAH) Advisory Board. The national effort works to match the unique and very marketable skills National Guard Veterans have acquired when serving their country. Perhaps the most valuable and in-demand traits Guard Veterans offer potential employers are

integrity, discipline and loyalty. They also have both leadership and teamwork skills that can be applied to many different work settings and business sectors.

Despite the fact that Guard Veterans can make ideal employees, the unemployment rate among their ranks is 20 percent. AJAH’s goal is to lower that rate by connecting Guard Veterans with employers. Scan this tag or visit the AJAH website (http://www. ng/ajah_mm.html) to learn more.

The BenefiTs Of hiring VeTerans

Translating Military Expertise to Civilian Excellence SCHEDULE FOR 2013 May 15–Mercury Marine–Fond du Lac June 4–American Family Insurance– Madison July 10–Gateway Technical College– iMET Center–Sturtevant

WMC in the News “As an economist, she will bring a welcome perspective to the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Our business community understands that UW-Madison is vitally important to economic development and we look forward to working with the new chancellor to foster economic growth and prosperity for our state.” – Kurt Bauer, WMC President/CEO, speaking on the appointment of Rebecca Blank as chancellor of UW-Madison, The Business Journal, March 18, 2013 “Now a mining company will have a fair chance at getting a permit to mine for iron if the company can demonstrate that it will protect the environment.” – Scott Manley, WMC Vice President of Government Relations, speaking on the mining legislation signed by Governor Walker, Journal Sentinel, March 11, 2013 “If the determination of what is actually going on in the marketplace is between a theoretical review of academic studies and data sources, or the reality of hundreds and hundreds of Wisconsin manufacturers who are trying to hire, we will trust the manufacturers.” – Jim Morgan, WMC Foundation President, speaking on a workforce report released by a UWM professor which stated there is not a workforce shortage in Wisconsin, The Business Journal, March 16, 2013 “I am tempted to praise Governor Quinn’s decision because I do think it makes Wisconsin’s business climate even more attractive by comparison. Quinn is putting political populism ahead of fiscal pragmatism.” – Kurt Bauer, WMC President/CEO, speaking on the Illinois Governor’s proposal to raise his state’s minimum wage from $8.25 to $10/hour, Financial Times, February 13, 2013 “The winners are recognized as the best of the best. Winners tell us year after year they had no idea the award would open so many doors for them.” – Katy Pettersen, WMC Director of Marketing, speaking about the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Awards, Green Bay Press Gazette, February 18, 2013

August 7–Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College–Superior September 10–Blackhawk Technical College–Janesville October 9–Wausau Window and Wall Systems–Wausau November 5–Logistics Health, Inc.– La Crosse

TOPICS WILL INCLUDE:  How to Translate the Skills Veterans Possess  The Financial Benefits of Hiring Veterans (tax credits, on-the-job training funds, etc)  Employer Presentations: A Businessto-Business Explanation of how Hiring Veterans will Benefit Your Company  How to Connect with Potential Veteran Candidates, and Much More!! COST: Free, but space is limited, so register soon to reserve your spot. For more details and to register, please contact Al Hoffmann: 608.266.1209. You can also access the Registration Forms through the fliers listed on the “Events” page of our website at

HAVING ACCESS TO CREDIT CAN GIVE A LIFT TO YOUR BOTTOM LINE. With Cash Flow Options from PNC and our PNC Advantage for Manufacturers, we can help you take advantage of everyday untapped opportunities. Like helping ensure access to credit. So you can be prepared for market shifts, inventory requirements, equipment purchases or innovation. For uncovering opportunities to help improve your cash flow, visit, stop by a branch or call 1-877-535-6314. SM


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All loans are subject to credit approval and may require automatic payment deduction from a PNC Bank Business Checking account. Origination and/or other fees may apply. PNC is a registered mark of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (“PNC”). Cash Flow Options is a service mark of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. ©2013 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC BB PDF 0313-034-136303

SAFETY Janie Ritter Director of Wisconsin Safety Council

June is Safety Month Invest in Your Safety Program


very June, the National Safety Council (NSC) encourages organizations to get involved and participate in National Safety Month. National Safety Month is an annual observance to educate and influence behaviors around leading causes of preventable injuries and death.

Unintentional injuries and deaths in the United States remain at unacceptable levels, demonstrating the need for a national observance such as National Safety Month. Unintentional deaths reached an estimated 126,100 in 2010*, compared with an estimate of 122,700 in the previous year. The cost of unintentional injuries to Americans and their employers exceeds $730 billion nationally. The Wisconsin Safety Council is a chapter of NSC and we encourage you, as a leader in your organization, to invest in your safety programs by participating in June is National Safety Month. WSC will provide access to posters, tip sheets, safety articles, 5-minute safety talks and other information and

activities to help you involve everyone. We hope you will use these materials to find creative ways to bring out the safety leader in every one of your employees. Visit the Wisconsin Safety Council website – www. - for June is Safety Month information.

This year's theme, "Safety Starts with Me," was inspired by the pillar of Leadership and Employee Engagement from the Journey to Safety Excellence. Successful organizations engage everyone in safety and create a culture where people feel a personal responsibility not only for their own safety, but for that of their coworkers, family and friends. This year’s observance highlights the need to practice safe behaviors 24/7, as significantly more employees are injured off the job than while at work. While leadership from the top is important, creating a culture where there is a sense of ownership of safety by all makes everyone in the organization a safety leader.

2013 Weekly Themes

Week 1: Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls Week 2: Employee Wellness

Week 3: Emergency Preparedness Week 4: Ergonomics

Bonus Topics: In the event the weekly themes do not fit into your schedule or you are looking for additional topics you could focus on Summer Safety or Driving Safety. While June has been designated “Safety Month,” don’t stop when June ends. Safety should be a priority all year long. BV *2010 is the latest year the statistical safety information is available. Follow WSC on Twitter @WISafetyCouncil

These companies have shown their commitment to safety through annual sponsorship of the Wisconsin Safety Council. PLATINUM

Ariens Company BMO Harris Bank, N.A. Briggs & Stratton Corp. John Deere Horicon Works Waupaca Foundry


Alliant EnergyWisconsin Power & Light The Boldt Company Colony Brands, Inc. Johnsonville Sausage, LLC NSP-Wisconsin/Xcel Energy

RGL Holdings, Inc. Rockwell Automation Tweet/Garot Mechanical, Inc.


ABB, Inc. Hy-Test Safety Shoe Service InSinkErator (Emerson) ITU Inc. Kerry Ingredients Mathews Solocam MG&E Pearl Engineering Corp. Sentry Insurance

Waukesha Metal Products WMEP


Enviro-Safe Consulting, LLC Fitesa-Green Bay Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC Heritage-Crystal Clean J.F. Ahern Co. JJ Keller & Associates, Inc. Johnson Insurance Services, LLC Kwik Trip

SC Johnson Scheck Mechanical Wisconsin Co. Secura Insurance Companies Webcrafters, Inc.


Balistrieri Environmental & Development, Inc. Damarco Solutions Hestra JOB Work Gloves Mercury Marine North Shore Environmental Construction Inc Toro Company Wisconsin Business Voice


The American Dream vs. the Liberal Dream By David Azerrad


he Left and the Right do not see eye-to-eye on much of anything these days. How interesting, then, how everyone seems to agree that the American Dream—an idea central to our country’s self-understanding—is under threat. Leading Republicans and Democrats worry that it’s becoming too hard to make it in America. Progressive journalists, union leaders, and conservative pundits all wonder whether we are still the land of opportunity. Our cherished American Dream, we are told, is fading into the sunset. Given the deep rift between liberals and conservatives, it should come as no surprise that upon closer inspection, they do not mean the same thing at all when they speak of the American Dream.

While conservatives still consider the traditional promise of opportunity and upward mobility to be at the heart of the American Dream, liberals have subtly redefined it along egalitarian and statist lines. The exhortation to work hard and persevere if you fail has given way to calls for greater government involvement in ensuring all rise in the first place. The acceptance of unequal results as an inevitable part of the pursuit of happiness has been supplanted by demands that income be redistributed more fairly. While the American Dream we all know is about climbing the ladder of opportunity, the new liberal American Dream can best be likened to an escalator of results: everyone hops on and moves up without effort.

The real American Dream is first and foremost about hard work and the opportunities created by a free economy. Stemming from our founding principles, it can be summed up by a simple equation: Economic Freedom + Culture of Work = Prosperity and Opportunity

Contrary to the straw-man caricatures peddled by the Left, government has an important supporting role to play for this dream to come true. It must, for example, uphold the rule of law, secure property rights, ensure access to education, and provide a safety net—not a hammock—for those who fall on hard times. The focus, however, remains on the individual and his efforts to rise and help those around him do the same. Given the diversity of individual efforts and the vagaries of life, not all will succeed. Unequal results are a natural outcome of equal opportunity.

For the Left’s new dream to deliver on its promise, America will have to be completely overhauled, and the character of its citizens profoundly altered. The spirited, entrepreneurial, and determinedly selfreliant citizens envisioned by the Founders of our constitutional republic will give way to a herd of timid and envious clients who increasingly turn to an omnipotent state for their well-being. Those who succeed will no longer be admired and emulated, but envied and targeted. The American Dream is an expression of the American mind. It grows out of our principles and defines us as a nation. People the world over know that America is the land of opportunity. The stakes are too high—the cause is too dear to us—for us to let the American Dream slip away and give way to the Left’s new dream. BV

The Left’s new dream, by contrast, is first and foremost about all that the federal government must do to create opportunity and ensure that incomes are distributed more equitably. Individual effort takes a backseat to government spending and cradle-tograve entitlements. Under this scheme, government spending—not private sector growth—generates opportunity. Hence, the new Left’s new catch phrase: “we (i.e. the government) must invest in opportunity (i.e. spend on our pet projects).”

David Azerrad is the Associate Director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at The Heritage Foundation and the co-author of “Defending the Dream: Why Income Inequality Doesn’t Threaten Opportunity.”

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A Partnership Built for Members in Wisconsin


Steve Benzschawel Business World Director

Real World Experience… Life Changing Results


arents want their kids to be successful, that goes without saying. Getting them there is what causes sleepless nights. What will they be when they grow up? Will they find their passion? How can I expose them to experiences that will help them on their journey?

There are so many things that go into what forms a young person’s life – friends, mentors, teachers, parents and experiences. What finally triggers a 16-year-old’s passion is a mystery, but Business World is proud to have been that trigger in a few lives. The understanding of free enterprise is critical to a student growing up in America, and understanding that and the excitement of entrepreneurism has “lit the bulb” for many Business World graduates. But so has the experience itself. We received this letter from a parent after last summer’s program.

Our success stories of alumni who have gone on to lead Wisconsin companies are many. For more than 30 years, the Wisconsin Business World program has been educating young people about the principles of our free enterprise system so they understand the importance of entrepreneurship and private-sector businesses. From Dan Olszewski, whose professional journey has taken him around the world since his days at Business World, to Austin WhitePentony who was recently named Young Entrepreneur of the Year our graduates are making a positive impact in their communities and around the world.

Dan Olszewski, BW class of 1982 (pictured at right), whose career has taken him from the United States to Tokyo, from the Federal Reserve Board to being a successful CEO of Parts Now!. Dan now serves as Director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship at UW-Madison and a I just wanted to let you know the impact that Business World has had co-founder of the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial on my daughter. While school and the discipline it takes to succeed there Bootcamp, a graduate level entrepreneurship came easily to my other children, she has had to work hard to stay focused program ranked 9th globally among business schools. and on track. This has not always been easy. I found out about Business Austin White-Pentony, World when I attended a conference and brought the information home. BW class of 2010 To my utter surprise, she said that she thought it sounded like fun. So we (pictured at right from the signed her up, and obviously she attended and had a great time. She was Minnesota Daily online the operations manager for her company, and met a lot of kids that she story), took a negative continues to interact with. situation - a broken cell But, what happened after Business World ended is what I wanted to let phone - and turned it into you know about. a profitable business that would soon outgrow his When my wife and I dropped her off, she told me she thought she might dorm room and garner be “too dumb” to do well at the camp. I gave her my usual Dad pep talk, him the prestigious and reminded her of all her great qualities, including her ability to honor of being named easily make friends. We left and prayed for the best. I’m not totally sure Young Entrepreneur what specifically sparked it, but being part of that team and being in of the Year by Junior Achievement of Wisconsin. State a leadership role made a huge difference in her. In the weeks following Superintendent Tony Evers lauded Austin’s accomplishments, the camp, she talked a lot about the experience, and we actually started “Congratulations to Austin for tapping into his passion having discussions about topics related to manufacturing, leadership and and developing a company that uses green marketing and business. She also signed up for an intro to business course at school, and new technology.” Currently a sophomore at University of for the first time really started asking questions about college. Minnesota in the Twin Cities, the sky is the limit for Austin! Her first semester this year has been nothing short of a transformation. I Dan and Austin’s successes are just two of the remarkable also see a major change in her effort, and she has started to really take stories of our 14,000+ graduates who have attended pride in her school accomplishments. I think she is starting to understand Business World since 1982. Students who attend BW have that in order to reach her goals, she has to start laying the foundation an experience unlike any other summer camp can provide now. Turning 16 is a big reason for her new found maturity, but I because it is taught directly by business professionals. Our am confident that Business World played a major part in her growth. advisors are volunteers from the local community who see I just want to thank you and WMC for offering the program. If you the value in engaging the future workforce and getting them ever wonder whether it is making a difference in students’ lives, I can excited about their careers and the path their professional without a doubt say that it is. I want to thank you for helping to provide journey will take. BV a spark that is making a difference in her life. Follow Business World on Twitter @WiBusinessWorld


Business World Helps Wisconsin,s Current and Future Leaders By Shane Leadholm and Dustin Serrault, Wisconsin Business World Interns


usiness World is a hands-on summer camp that provides high school students the opportunity to run a “company” and make many of the same decisions faced by real-world company executives… all while experiencing life on a college campus for four fast-paced days of competitions and activities. Students leave camp with an increased knowledge of the workplace, more self-confidence and ambition… and a lot more friends.

Both of us currently work as interns for Wisconsin Business World and have had the opportunity to experience the free enterprise system in different ways. “I had the opportunity to attend Business World when I was a junior in high school and have never forgotten the experience. In the four days at camp I made life-long friends, gained professional experience and made connections that continue to benefit me today. Four years later I continue to utilize the knowledge and enthusiasm I gained while at camp.”-Dustin Serrault “During my time interning at Business World, I have greatly enjoyed working towards the goal of educating Wisconsin’s future business leaders. In the few months I have been working here, I have learned that the endless preparation to improve the camp is one of the main reasons this program is so special.”- Shane Leadholm

During the program, our advisors are volunteers from the local community that see the value in engaging the future workforce and getting them excited about their careers and what path their professional journey will take. Bob Denor and Michelle Morrow have both been advisors for the Business World summer program and shared some of their thoughts about the camp with us.

“The business community is greatly served by this program in giving students a chance to encourage their personal investigation and potential for a business career in the state. I see in these students so much positive potential for their contribution to the working environment in this state. As we hopefully continue to grow the business environment in the state, I am sure these students will make a difference when their turn comes as leaders.”- Bob Denor, Retired, Ariens Company, Brillion

“Business World provides students with real-world examples of how a business works and what decisions are needed to help make a business succeed. They are taught team building skills as well as real world experience in finance, marketing, IT and sales that can’t easily be taught in a classroom. Students who attend Business World leave this program with a better understanding of how a company operates, the different departments in a company and the effects departments have on other departments.”- Michelle Morrow, Senior Employee Relations Specialist, Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation, Madison With 14,000+ graduates, Business World continues to not only improve the lives of students who attend the camp but also the Wisconsin community. BV

Wisconsin Business World is honored to have two Edgewood College students interning with the program this year. Shane Leadholm (left) is a junior majoring in Business and Information Technology Education. Dustin Serrault is a junior with a double major in Business Marketing and Finance and a minor in Economics.

Business World 30+ Years. 14,000 Students. 2,500 Educators.

Business World, a WMC initiative, brings high school students and educators together with business volunteers at a college campus or local business to learn about the challenges facing our economy. This opportunity helps tomorrow’s leaders prepare for their future in today’s increasingly competitive global marketplace.

2013 Summer Programs June 16-19

Edgewood College, Madison June 23-26

St. Norbert College, De Pere @WiBusinessWorld Wisconsin-Business-World

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.



May 8

May 6-8


July 16

May 13-16

Lockout/Tagout, Train-the-Trainer

Supervisor Development: Safety & Health Fundamentals Safety Inspections

July 17

Job Safety Analysis

Instructor Development Course: First Aid/Adult CPR/AED Safety Training Methods (STM)

May 17

August 6-7

OSHA Construction Breakfast “Health Hazards/Basics of Respirator Programs”

August 13

Principles of Occupational Safety & Health (POSH)

OSHA 10-Hour Voluntary Compliance for General Industry Creating a World-Class Safety Culture

September 9

Ergonomics: Managing for Results

September 11

22nd Annual Autumn Safety & Health Conference/Expo

September 24

NFPA 70E Compliance Requirements

August 12-15 August 20

Coaching the Emergency Vehicle Operator, Train-the-Trainer

September 6

Confined Space, Train-the-Trainer

September 10

First Aid/CPR/AED Recertification

September 16-19

June 17 June 19

Incident Investigation: A Root Cause Analysis

September 11

Effective Team Safety


OSHA 30-Hour Voluntary Compliance Course for General Industry

August 21

Coaching the Lift Truck Operator, Train-the-Trainer

OSHA 30-Hour Voluntary Compliance for General Industry

Company News

AWI Donates Labor and Material to Klondike Days

James D. Friedman Named in Best Lawyers in America 2013

Youth Employment Program Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Two Wisconsin Executives to Head U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Panel

The Advanced Welding Institute recently donated labor and materials to build lumberjack stands for Klondike Days which took place in Eagle River in March. Klondike Days is a family-oriented annual event dubbed by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism as "Wisconsin's #1 Winter Family Fun Festival.” “It’s important to give back to the community and we want to show our students that,” Brian Scheid, AWI Director, says. “Our students were given direction on the project as they worked on the stands after school and on the weekends.” The AWI students graduated from the six month Structural Pipe and Welding Program, which consists of 85 percent hands-on training, in March. The Youth Job Center (YJC) job skills program is celebrating 20 years of service. The program has taught more than 2,000 high school-aged youth valuable life skills such as how to find, secure and keep paid employment. Each year, YJC helps an average of 100 students ranging from 14 to 17 years old through means such as individualized jobcoach mentoring, 10 hours of hard and soft job skills instruction, resume creation, job lead development, application and interview problem solving, 12 weeks of ongoing job performance monitoring and offering free work permits. In celebration of their 20 years of service, YJC is aiming to grow their employer base by enlightening even more companies to the benefits of hiring highly motivated, well-trained and flexible youth. Already, nearly 100 Dane County employers of various sizes have utilized the YJC program to provide summer vacation coverage, meet peak seasonal staffing demands and cover evening and weekend adult staff backup. The program is also a cost-effective recruitment tool for permanent entry-level positions following high school graduation or during college attendance. 16

WMC Board and Executive Committee member, James D. Friedman of Quarles & Brady LLP was recently named in The Best Lawyers in America 2013® for Banking and Finance Law / Financial Services Regulation Law / Litigation - Banking & Finance). Jim has been named in Best Lawyers continuously since 1995. He is chair of Quarles & Brady’s Financial Institutions Practice Group. His practice includes the representation of financial institutions and their holding companies as well as manufacturers, service businesses and health care providers in corporate, transactional and international matters. He also advises businesses, boards of directors and independent directors or committees of directors in corporate governance, audit or transactional matters.

The state of Wisconsin will likely have an important role in discussions of manufacturing policy taken on by the U.S. Department of Commerce given recent appointments to the 2013 Manufacturing Council. Michael Laszkiewicz, Vice President and General Manager of Rockwell Automation in Milwaukee, was recently named by acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank to Chair of the 2013 Manufacturing Council, a 30-member national board that advises the Commerce Secretary. Mary Isbister, President of the Mequon-based GenMet, will serve as the council’s Vice Chair. Both Laszkiewicz and Isbister also served on the Manufacturing Council last year. Laszkiewicz says he looks forward to working with the department and offering new suggestions to strengthen the nation’s manufacturing and global competitiveness.

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.


© 2013 Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.

Wisconsin Business Voice




How are we Faring in Wisconsin? By Mark Crawford


hances are no two people will have exactly the same definition for free enterprise – their viewpoints will be based on education, personal experience and business beliefs.

That said, most people will agree that free enterprise is about the ability to pursue a business venture and sell the final product or service at a fair price (or even the highest price the market will bear) to make a profit. The goal is not only to better one’s own standing in life, but to improve society by providing valuable services or products that make a difference in people’s lives. The overarching idea is that, ideally, the free enterprise system will regulate itself – that if you make shoddy products, or are unethical or dishonest in your business dealings, consumers will shun your products and your company will fail (and rightly so). “The free enterprise system asks each of us to perform a self-assessment,” says Aaron Powell, partner and vice president of sales and marketing for Flexion Inc. in Sun Prairie.

“What am I good at? What am I passionate about? Then compare these answers to a market assessment. What problems are there to be solved that align with my skills and talents? You must also identify with and accept the need to generate income and profit. Profit enables individuals and companies to create value, achieve recognition and give back to society by creating jobs, supporting charities and paying taxes.”

The Declaration of Independence outlined the foundation for free enterprise in simple terms: “We hold these truths to be self-

evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

“Inherent in this document is the idea of earned success,” says Thomas Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber in Washington, D.C. “That’s what the founders were talking about when they promised the right to pursue happiness. They didn’t guarantee happiness – nor did they intend for the government to dole it out. Instead, they conceived a nation where success was defined by the individual and achievement was determined by hard work and merit. Free enterprise is built on those principles.” Free enterprise drives economic opportunity and rewards risk. People who work hard and take risks (and occasionally fail) have the opportunity to earn success. Those who are willing to act on a bold idea, or pursue a big dream, have a chance to make a profit. That profit is often reinvested in new ventures, driving innovation and economic growth.

Free enterprise is still the best system in the world for creating positive social change.

“Free enterprise is all about expanding access to opportunity, with no guarantee of equal outcomes,” adds Powell. “One must first fall in love with the work and understand that failure is often the best teacher. Results come through overcoming and learning from failures; the secret is to keep moving forward.”

Wisconsin Business Voice


What Is Free Enterprise?

Free enterprise is the system of values and laws that respects private property, encourages industry, celebrates liberty, limits government and creates individual opportunity. At any scale, free enterprise must be linked to the principles of capitalism to be successful.

2006, and to this day still has profound effects on the economy,” says Teske. “When asset bubbles burst, the generally negative consequences cause people to question the system.”

The Great Divide

“Free enterprise is not just for the one-percenters,” stresses Dan Ariens, President and CEO of Ariens Company in Brillion. “Businesses that want to be successful need to follow a strategy that is based on the principles of capitalism. This even holds true for non-profits. Free enterprise is still the best system in the world for creating positive social change.”

When people react to negative economic news, they often reach the conclusion that free enterprise is only for the self-interest of a few and is fundamentally unfair – and call for the federal government to assume the role of enforcer, punisher and regulator. Yet most of these opponents simply don’t understand how the free enterprise system works, or how it contributes to the prosperity and economic opportunities in their own lives.

also needs a system of banking that can provide financing for businesses.”

In an ideal world, governments and businesses work together to create regulatory frameworks and job opportunities that make sense and are in tune with today’s global economy.

Regulation is eyed warily by many business owners as the greatest “For many people, when they think of capitalism, they see Gordon risk to free enterprise. Too much regulation drags the system Gekko from the movie Wall Street,” says Ariens. “Or they think down, frustrates business owners, increases red tape, drives up costs products are overpriced and companies are making too much profit. and stifles creativity and innovation – hurting the economy. Yet For example, not many people really understand all the steps it takes regulation is also essential for creating an for Ariens Company to build a lawnmower, from sourcing even playing field for all businesses (for When government all the components, painting and plating the parts, and example, breaking up monopolies). agencies can move at the assembling and distributing the product.” However, achieving a regulatory speed of business, or at least be balance that allows industries to No system is perfect – and that includes free prosper can be a big challenge. thinking in those terms, businesses enterprise. Yet free enterprise has been the workhorse “To make free enterprise will flock to that area because they in creating our high standard of living and continues to drive our economic recovery. “Free enterprise work effectively, companies know they will be able to get advocates do not claim there is no role for government,” must compete in a free and fair says Donohue. “Free enterprise works best when there is a things done. environment,” indicates Tom Boldt, wise, prudent and frugal government that upholds the rule of CEO of The Boldt Company in Appleton. law, provides a safety net for the disadvantaged, establishes fair rules “To accomplish this, we need an effective legal system of laws and of conduct and ensures educational opportunities.” regulations that is fairly interpreted with due process. The system

Todd Teske

use of resources.”

“Government does play a role in a free enterprise system to ensure that the rights of citizens are not infringed upon,” agrees Todd Teske, Chairman, President and CEO of Briggs & Stratton Corporation in Milwaukee. “However, government should not enact undue rules and regulations, or select winners and losers. Too often, government attempts to influence the free market through fiscal and monetary policies that may result in ‘asset bubbles’ or inefficient

Asset bubbles often burst, creating severe negative impacts. “For example, government policies regarding the desire for more people to own a home arguably created the housing bubble that burst in


“Businesses operate with a different mindset than most government bodies,” says Eric Sauey, Chairman and CEO of Seats Incorporated in Reedsburg. “Speed-to-market is an essential part of success for any business. Most government departments that I have dealt with don’t think that way – this is one of the biggest frustrations business people have when dealing with government agencies. When government agencies can move at the speed of business, or at least be thinking in those terms, businesses will flock to that area because they know they will be able to get things done.”

Free Enterprise in Wisconsin This is starting to happen in Wisconsin.

Most business leaders agree an economic transformation is taking place in Wisconsin.

Getting the state budget in line with revenues was a major first step. Last year, the U.S. Chamber released a study titled “Enterprising “Budget deficits often run counter to a healthy, long-term economic States” that highlights specific strategies states are employing to environment,” says Teske. “The regulatory environment has also remain competitive and restore jobs. Wisconsin ranked in the top become more reasonable in the last couple of years.” ten for many categories, including tax environment for new firms Powell looks forward to seeing more taxation reform, responsive and regulatory reform – for example, state agencies are now required job training and venture capital creation to help to submit proposed rules to a cost-benefit analysis, measuring Wisconsin improve its competitive the regulation’s potential impact on businesses and the In an ideal world, standing. state’s economy. governments and businesses “Wisconsin has a window of “Governor Walker has also work together to create regulatory opportunity to accelerate this been given added powers frameworks and job opportunities economic renaissance in contrast to stop proposed new rules during promulgation that make sense and are in tune with to our neighbors in Minnesota and Illinois,” says Powell. and to kill other proposed today’s global economy. “Embracing free enterprise and regulations, providing a improved collaboration between job check to state regulatory power,” creators and public partners will get the job done. Illinois is near adds Donohue. insolvency. Minnesota has a great economy but is increasing taxes, Initiatives at a local level have been put in Tom Donohue fees, and regulations at the same time we are reforming. Now is the place to encourage innovation and business time to sell Wisconsin to like-minded entrepreneurs and highstart-ups. “For example the Greater Milwaukee Committee created skilled workers who share the same values and can contribute to our MiKE (Innovation in Milwaukee), which brings together innovative growth objectives.” BV talent, academia and business to develop creative solutions for the market and foster a culture of innovation,” says Teske. “Milwaukee Crawford is a Madison-based freelance writer. also has the Water Council which is dedicated to making the region a global cluster for water technology.”

Wisconsin Business Voice


Capitol Veterans Join WMC

Chris Reader is WMC’s specialist on health care and employment laws and Eric Bott will focus on energy and environmental policy.

Chris Reader

Eric Bott

Two Capitol veterans joined the WMC government relations team to advocate on behalf of industry and job creation.

“I am pleased to announce the addition of Chris and Eric as they are highly respected in the Capitol and true policy experts,” said Scott Manley, WMC vice president of government relations. Reader previously served as Chief of Staff for Senator Rich Zipperer, and as a field

Experience. Our key to hassle-free benefits.

director for U.S. Congressman Mark Green’s campaign. Most recently, he served as Administrator of the Telecommunications Division at the Public Service Commission. Bott served as policy and budget director for Senator Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. He previously served as policy and budget director, as well as outreach director, for Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald. In addition, Bott has held numerous positions as campaign manager and legislative assistant. “Eric and Chris have both been instrumental in advancing legislation to make Wisconsin a more competitive and business-friendly state,” Manley said. “We are lucky to have them on our team and confident they will zealously advocate on behalf of Wisconsin businesses.”

Shoys Promoted to Senior Vice President

WMC’s Kurt Bauer is pleased to announce the promotion of Mike Shoys to Senior Vice President.

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Bauer said “Mike Shoys has been a key member of the WMC leadership team for a number of years. This promotion is recognition for his position of responsibility and authority to manage most of the operations of the Association. This is a complex organization with many moving parts and Shoys’ experience and organizational skills along with the respect he has garnered from our voluntary leadership and staff warrant this promotion. I have full confidence that the internal operations of the Association are in good hands with Mike Shoys.”

Shoys, who has held various positions within WMC since 1995, was originally hired as Vice President of the WMC Service Corporation, a for-profit subsidiary of WMC offering group insurance products and other services to WMC member companies. Since that time, his role has expanded to encompass all internal operations including finance/accounting, human resources, information technology and facilities management. Shoys is leading WMC’s remodel which is underway. BV

Iron Mining Reform is First Law Signed this Session WMC Pro-Growth Agenda Advancing


proposed $1.5 billion investment in an iron ore mine in Iron County took an important step forward in February when Governor Walker signed iron mining reform legislation into law. The Governor signed Act 1 at ceremonies in Rhinelander and Milwaukee, the latter of which took place at mining equipment manufacturer Joy Global. WMC has led the effort to advance the mining reform legislation over the past two years, and greatly appreciates the support of Governor Walker and legislative Republicans who supported its passage. The proposed mining project is expected to create 2,000 construction jobs, 700 mining jobs, and 2,100 other jobs throughout the state to support the mining operation. And while the iron mining reform dominated the debate and headlines in the first few months of 2013, a number of WMC’s key policy proposals are advancing through the Legislature.

In 2011, Governor Walker and the Legislature approved a number of key proposals aimed at improving our business climate – tax relief, union reforms, regulation relief and lawsuit reform. They aren’t slowing down, and WMC is working with policymakers to understand which reforms are needed to keep up the momentum to make Wisconsin the most competitive state in the nation.

WMC is aggressively advancing our policy agenda in the Legislature with key tax relief, lawsuit reforms and regulatory relief making significant progress at the Capitol. Four significant lawsuit reforms are moving through the Legislature, including “phantom damages” reforms that allow juries to know the actual cost of medical procedures. WMC is also advancing personal injury trust transparency, private attorney contracting reforms for government contingency fee contracts and patient informed consent reforms. WMC is working to ensure the state budget contains tax cuts as it moves through the Legislative process.

Visit to read our full policy agenda, aimed at making Wisconsin the most competitive state in the nation, and to review the status of the bills we are advancing at the Capitol. BV

Environmental Policy & Awards Conference Wednesday, May 15 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Country Springs, Pewaukee

What You’ll Learn Topics Include • Federal air standards • DNR Division of Air, Waste, Remediation and Redevelopment (AWaRe) • Trends in environmental litigation • DNR rule on phosphorus emissions • Environmental policy changes • Best practices from past winners of the Business Friend of the Environment award Visit for more information and to register.

Governor Walker congratulated WMC's Scott Manley after signing Act 1, which creates an iron ore permitting process.

Wisconsin Business Voice


Chris Reader, WMC WMC Director of Health & Human Resources Policy


Minimum Wage: It Doesn’t Have to Be Us Versus Them A n impediment of American free enterprise is unnecessary government involvement in private industry, even when well intentioned. Such is the case with relentless calls for increasing the minimum wage. Originally struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court as unconstitutional multiple times during the 1920s and 1930s, the minimum wage in some form has been law ever since a favorable vote on the 1937 Supreme Court case, West Coast Hotel Company v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 379. Since that time, the political debate has not been whether we should have a minimum wage, but rather what the minimum pay for low-skilled and entry level workers should be.

proposal does not allow for decreases to the mandated wage if the CPI should drop in any future year. Not to be outdone, President Obama asked Congress for an increase to $9.00 per hour during his State of the Union address in February. President Obama and the Wisconsin Democrats are continuing the minimum wage debate by recycling anti-free market arguments as old as the minimum wage itself. For instance, Representative Mason was quoted on Fox 6 in Milwaukee on March 10 saying “A minimum wage basically means the employer would pay you less if they could, but they can’t. That’s what a minimum wage basically says.”

WMC has a different That antiEarlier this year, approach. We want Wisconsin’s employer tone is the never-ending emblematic of chorus calling workforce to earn a higher wage, to how minimum for a higher see the standard of living increase wage minimum wage supporters continued in and to see more cash infused view the debate. Wisconsin when Rather than into our economy. a group of legislative allowing employers and Democrats, led by Senator Bob individuals to enter into mutually Wirch of Kenosha and Representative Cory beneficial agreements as to what one’s Mason of Racine, introduced Senate Bill 4 work product is worth, they view it as an (SB4), which would increase the minimum ‘us’ versus ‘them’, employer versus employee wage in the Badger State from $7.25 to fight that government needs to referee. $7.60 an hour. Additionally, SB4 would Lost on them is the fact employers have a establish annual increases going forward tied finite number of dollars to pay their staff, to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The and if the government forces employers to authors argue that tying the minimum wage pay certain workers higher wages than they to CPI will ensure a so-called living wage otherwise would leverage in the marketplace, into the future. Interestingly, however, their that unquestionably results in other workers

receiving less pay and less people being hired overall. Free market economist Milton Friedman spent his career arguing that wellintentioned social welfare ideas, like the minimum wage, actually end up having the opposite impact on low-skilled workers and the poor by causing employers to hire fewer people at entry-level wages, leaving the rest to be unemployed and likely on government assistance. That’s why WMC has a different approach. We want Wisconsin’s workforce to earn a higher wage, to see the standard of living increase and to see more cash infused into our economy. We are focused on doing that not by asking government to simply mandate higher wages, rather we support policies aimed at fixing the workforce paradox in our state so the people coming out of Wisconsin high schools, technical colleges and universities are ready to be active and valuable members of the workforce. By having a skilled workforce and increasing the overall output of our economy, the free enterprise marketplace will ensure workers are paid a proper wage for work performed. BV Follow Chris on Twitter @ReaderWMC

Wisconsin Business Voice


Knowledge Powers Wisconsin’s Economy By Kevin P. Reilly


n an economy driven by knowledge and innovation, the University of Wisconsin System is preparing a stronger workforce to accelerate business success. More than 35,000 new University of Wisconsin graduates will enter the workforce this year, ready to put their talent and entrepreneurial spirit to work.

online coursework, military service, on-thejob training and other learning experiences.

With an eye toward building educational capacity in the most efficient manner possible, UW campuses are collaborating in new ways. A student at UW-Fox Valley, for example, can earn an engineering degree from UW-Platteville without ever leaving the Fox Valley.

This work has never been more important. According to the Georgetown University Now more than ever, there is a high demand Center on Education and Workforce, for skilled workers in science, technology, more than 61 percent of all jobs in engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and Wisconsin by 2018 will require some form in health-related fields. Looking across all of postsecondary education and UW degrees granted last training, with 27 percent year, more than one61 percent of all jobs needing a bachelor’s quarter (27.8 percent) in Wisconsin by 2018 degree or higher. That were in STEM or means more familywill require some form of health-related fields. supporting Wisconsin postsecondary education That’s the result of jobs will require some steady growth. In the kind of education after and training last 10 years, STEM high school. degrees have increased by The UW System is anticipating these marketplace needs by making it more convenient for working adults to obtain a degree. For example, the UW Flexible Option will be an innovative way to meet workforce demands by allowing students to earn degrees through passing a series of assessments demonstrating their mastery of required knowledge and skills. They can acquire this mastery through traditional or

23.4 percent, while health-related degrees have increased by 35.2 percent, and we expect these trends to continue.

The Competitive Wisconsin “Be Bold” report cited finance and accounting as areas where Wisconsin may face a major skills gap in the future. Most people are surprised to learn the most popular disciplines at UW System institutions, by far, are business management and related fields, representing about 18 percent of all undergraduate degrees granted. At the same time, UW is more than a business incubator or job

training school. Our mission is to prepare students to be successful, productive and contributing members of society. These ideas are not mutually exclusive. Employers tell us they need workers who are adaptable and flexible. Every UW graduate - regardless of field of study - is grounded in a set of shared learning goals. That means in addition to technical knowledge and skills, UW students learn to think critically, write clearly, speak persuasively, interpret data, understand and appreciate diversity and work well in teams.

Preparing its graduates to be educated and productive workers is only part of how the UW System helps the Wisconsin economy. People sometimes forget a strong public university also creates new jobs. Entrepreneurial UW faculty members today are winning more outside grants and contracts, engaging in cutting-edge research that requires very little state taxpayer support. In fact, academic research and development is now a $1.1 billion industry in Wisconsin - one that helps create wellpaying private-sector jobs all across the state. The UW System continues to focus on new strategies that will strengthen Wisconsin’s workforce because a highly skilled and highly competitive workforce is one of our state’s most valuable assets. We are working hard to convey how the UW institutions improve the state’s competitive edge by creating stronger businesses, stronger local communities and a stronger workforce. BV

Kevin P. Reilly is President of the University of Wisconsin System. Visit to learn more.

WMC was honored to be a sponsor of the UW System’s Posters in the Rotunda in April. The event showcases undergraduate innovations and discoveries from the various UW Campuses and Centers. Pictured here are (from left to right) Tom Still from the Wisconsin Technology Council, Kurt Bauer from WMC and UW System President Kevin Riley.


Eric Bott WMC Director of Environmental & Energy Policy


Embrace the Industrial Renaissance T he revolution in unconventional oil and natural gas production in the U.S. is nothing short of stunning. In 2012 alone, energy development from hydraulic fracturing accounted for more than $238 billion in direct economic activity, creating 1.7 million jobs and generating $68 billion in new tax revenue. The second-order effects are even more astounding.

The American Chemistry Council recently projected cheap natural gas would spawn the investment of $72 billion in gas-demanding industries. That in turn would generate an economic impact of $342 billion from 2015-2020 while creating 1.2 million new jobs. Economists at Citigroup and UBS are predicting that the shale boom alone will lift America’s GDP by about half of a point per year for the next several years.

annually. Since natural gas makes up nearly 70 percent of the input costs for fertilizer, low prices could mean good news for Wisconsin’s agricultural sector as well.

Wisconsin benefits from hydraulic fracturing more directly through the mining of industrial or “frac sand.” Frac sand mining is projected to employ thousands of Wisconsinites over the coming decades. A recent study showed Wood County alone will see more than $161 million in infrastructure investment and the creation of 930 permanent jobs over the next seven years.

Indeed, affordable energy and low-priced natural gas in particular are leading to an industrial renaissance in the Midwest. A new $650 million steel mill is being built in Youngstown, Ohio. An Egyptian firm is investing $1.4 billion into a fertilizer plant in Iowa.

Unfortunately, cheap natural gas could end up becoming less of a growth catalyst for American manufacturers than we hope thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA is waging a war on coal-fired power plants and boilers. A slew of regulations commonly referred to as the “EPA Train Wreck,” are intended to make coal, our most abundant and cost effective energy resource, economically infeasible.

Wisconsin won’t be left on the sidelines in this explosion of industrial activity. Natural gas comprises 25 percent of the input costs for plastics manufactures, an industry employing more than 34,000 Wisconsinites generating payrolls in excess of $1.5 billion

Cheap natural gas could help to offset some of the EPA-driven cost increases but even that production is under threat. Environmentalists once hailed natural gas as a

Low natural gas prices are having such an impact that companies like GE and Wham-O Frisbees are “on-shoring,” moving production from overseas back to the U.S. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as manufacturers in Germany and France pay roughly three times what Americans do for gas, and firms in South Korea and Japan pay even more.

greener alternative to coal but not anymore. As the price of natural gas has dropped, green opposition to the fuel has increased in-kind. Inexpensive natural gas, it turns out, threatens the opposition’s vision of a solar and wind powered utopia. Casting aside sound science and economics, these modern luddites are conducting an unrelenting assault on hydraulic fracturing and in doing so they are forcing Americans to make a very serious choice about our energy future.

The good news is that this is still our choice to make. We can heed the canards of the greens or embrace the industrial renaissance, reaping the benefits of affordable energy for generations. This choice seems simple. Let’s hope it’s as straight forward to our policy makers. BV Follow Eric on Twitter @BottWMC

This is bad news for a country that generates 42 percent of its electricity from coal but it’s potentially lethal to a manufacturing state like Wisconsin where we count on coal for 65 percent of our power.

Wisconsin Business Voice


WMC at Home and on the Road










Copyright National Assoc of Manufacturers

1. More than 30 Nigerian diplomats visited WMC to hear about Wisconsin’s economic development opportunities.

2. Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler

spoke to groups of local chambers of commerce from around the state during regional meetings hosted by Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce Executives organization, a WMC affiliate.

3. WMC was honored to welcome Consul General Zhao Weiping from China’s Chicago Consulate. Pictured with Consul General Zhao is WMC’s Kurt Bauer.

6. Senators Dale Schulz (R-Richland Center) and Tim Cullen

(D-Janesville) spoke to a group of high school students from Janesville that WMC hosted on their trip to Madison.

7. National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) awarded First District

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) with an award for his support of American Manufacturing at Snap-on in Kenosha. Pictured (from L to R) is Jay Timmons, NAM president/CEO; Kurt Bauer, WMC president/CEO; Congressman Ryan and Nick Pinchuk, chairman/ president/CEO of Snap-on, Inc.

4. Buckley Brinkman, WMEP; Mary Isbister, GenMet; WMC’s Jim

8. Governor Scott Walker declared WMC “the greatest chamber of

5. Jim Haney, former WMC President; Charley Klein, Fox Valley

9. WMC is building a new video studio within our headquarters to

Morgan; and Dawn Tabat, Generac Corporation spoke about the workforce paradox at WMEP’s Manufacturing Matters! Conference in Milwaukee. Spring Corp; Mark Tyler, OEM Fabricators; Brian Baker, Sentry Equipment Corp; Kim Korth, Dickten Masch Plastics; and Lou Gentine, Sargento Cheese; all past Manufacturer of the Year awardwinning companies, spoke at WMEP’s Manufacturing Matters! Conference about what it takes to win a MOTY award.


commerce in the country” during his appearance at this year’s Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year awards ceremony.

bring timely news to our members. Watch for video updates later this summer.

Jason Culotta WMC Director of Tax & Transportation Policy


Developments in Transportation and the Impact on Wisconsin’s Economy T here’s a lot of excitement these days about major changes occurring in the global economy’s transportation system. As further efficiencies are realized in logistics, a corresponding price reduction for consumers should occur, all things being equal. First, improvements to the Panama Canal will be completed in mid-2015. The canal presently functions like a one-lane country road. Forty-two ships transit the canal each day, leaving a line waiting to get through the next day. Opening the equivalent of an additional lane is a major portion of the canal upgrade. In addition, the current 39.5 foot depth and 110 foot width limit on ships passing through will be increased to 50 feet deep and 180 feet wide.

The improvements will allow ships carrying 12,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units, measured in 20-foot international intermodal containers) to pass through the canal, versus the 4,800 TEUs carried by the largest ships transiting the canal today. The canal expansion will substantially improve the connection between the eastern U.S. and Asia. With larger-sized ships passing through the canal, east coast cities like Baltimore, Jacksonville, New York, and Norfolk are preparing to handle ships with a 50-foot draft.

The state of Florida is making substantial investments in deepening and improving the Port of Miami and Port Everglades at Fort Lauderdale. The state is convinced making these investments to allow the larger new ships access will give a natural competitive advantage over other Atlantic ports, especially because Florida’s ports are much closer to Panama.

anchor tenant. As freight increasingly moves in intermodal containers, Wisconsin will require more such facilities throughout the state to connect with the emerging national intermodal network.

Examples of these new corridors include the Meridian Speedway, taking days off the route from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to Atlanta; the Crescent Corridor, which stretches from Birmingham, Alabama, to suburban New York; the Heartland Corridor and the National Gateway projects, connecting the Midwest with Atlantic ports.

are now in service in North America, an increase of 51,000 since 2010. While small in numbers compared to the 29 million international containers estimated to exist around the world, the 53-foot container will play an increasingly important role in our economy.

Third, a further trend in transportation innovation is the transloading of international freight from 20- or 40-foot oceangoing international containers to Second, the development 53-foot domestic containers. across the U.S. of freight Ocean carriers are As freight increasingly rail corridors allowing concerned about moves in intermodal containers, losing money the use of doublestacked intermodal Wisconsin will require more such on equipment container trains has facilities throughout the state to heading into the greatly increased U.S. interior and connect with the emerging rail productivity being unavailable and competitiveness. national intermodal network. for extended periods Years in the making, of time. A container these projects have raised many transload operation currently bridges over rail corridors and installed operates near Los Angeles and another double-tracking to allow maximum speed is set to open just inland of the Port of and minimize delays in moving containers Miami. between major hubs. Over 200,000 53-foot domestic containers

Only two intermodal container terminals presently operate in Wisconsin. A private terminal serves Ashley Furniture in Arcadia while Canadian National opened a public Chippewa Falls terminal in 2012 which features Menards as the

How Wisconsin businesses access these logistics opportunities is a major question. Whether benefitting from improved Atlantic port access, getting connected to the freight rail corridors moving increasing volumes of container traffic cross country, or even gaining access to the container equipment moving more of the 21st Century economy, changes will continue for the U.S. transportation infrastructure. BV Follow Jason on Twitter @JGCullota Wisconsin Business Voice


By State Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-32nd District)


he beginning of spring means it’s time to start enjoying America’s pastime – baseball season. As we sit back and get ready for another long and hopefully successful Brewers season, it’s easy to take for granted the rules that govern the game of baseball. From the diameters of the field, to the number of players allowed to participate, to the process of running the bases, Major League Baseball establishes the rules all teams have to follow. These rules ensure all teams are competing on a level playing field as they strive to win a pennant, and maybe even the World Series.

In the same way the MLB rules provide structure for professional baseball teams to compete on the field, government plays an important role in providing a structure for businesses to compete in the market. From intellectual property and antitrust laws to consumer and environmental protections, citizens expect their governments to establish rules that ensure a fair and level playing field for business competition. Imagine a free enterprise system that did not have legal protections for intellectual property. Why would any business invest in research and development of new products if they did not have copyright and trademark protections for those products? And imagine if antitrust protections weren’t in place to prevent monopolies from controlling the market and unfairly squeezing competitors. How could our economy truly benefit from free trade without responsible laws that prohibit price-fixing, collusion, monopolization and other practices that limit competition and create an uneven playing field? As with rules governing any competitive sport, the rules governing the free enterprise system must continue to evolve and be responsive to changes in the market. While the basic fundamentals of the market remain the same today as when our nation was first founded, technological advancements, the pressures of globalization and the lessons learned from past mistakes require a continual reassessment of existing laws.

Of course, there will always be disagreement between Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, and unions and management about the scope and wording of laws governing the market but this disagreement is part of our democratic system and helps ensure a responsible balance among competing interests. Ensuring that all parties – businesses, consumers, investors, workers, conservationists and others – have a voice in the process is important for creating a level playing field where businesses can succeed, consumers are protected, workers can receive a living wage and investors can see a decent return. Too often in the political world the focus is on partisanship and there is an unwillingness to find common ground and reach a compromise. At the end of the day, we all share the desire to have a strong economy and we want Wisconsin businesses to succeed so they can create jobs, broaden the tax base and make investments in our local communities.

As the economy continues to evolve and new lessons are learned it’s important we continue to update and modernize our laws to reflect the changing times. Just like Major League Baseball changed their rules to ban the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing substances to protect the integrity of the game, elected officials must continue to update the laws to prevent cheating and ensure fair competition for all businesses. By ensuring a level playing field with laws that balance the competing interests of the market with the importance of providing adequate consumer, worker, environmental and intellectual property protections, we can create an environment that encourages investment and business growth for the benefit of all Wisconsin residents.BV Jennifer Shilling represents the 32nd State Senate District which covers La Crosse, Vernon, Crawford and part of Monroe Counties. She currently serves as the ranking Senate Democrat on the Joint Committee on Finance.


What shou role of gov in free ent

uld be the vernment terprise?

By State Senator Scott Fitzgerald (R-13th District)


ith the 2013-14 legislative session now several months old, I am appreciative of the opportunity to write a few words about the legislature’s efforts to improve our state’s business climate, and the progress that has been made over the past two years.

I recently had the opportunity to speak at Steelwind Industries in Oak Creek about our tax climate and the upcoming budget deliberations that will set the state’s fiscal policy for the next biennium. Steelwind Industries reminded me of how successful entrepreneurs and small business owners can be when government gets out of the way and works to lower taxes, remove unnecessary regulations, and encourage investment and expansion through sound fiscal policy. Senate Republicans know that the private sector is the engine that drives the state’s economy, and that tax hikes and overregulation impede job creators’ efforts. While the national economy continues to endure a sluggish recovery, the White House and Congress seem to be moving farther away from reaching any meaningful compromises to spur growth and reduce unemployment. Fortunately in Wisconsin, that gridlock does not currently exist and time is not being wasted debating massive tax hikes to pay for out-of-control government spending.

We have already passed several pro-jobs bills through both houses of the legislature and sent them to Governor Walker for his signature. The first bill signed into law (2013 Act 1) was a comprehensive update of our state’s mining statutes, aimed at encouraging investment in the iron mining industry. In addition to the millions of dollars in investment and the hundreds of jobs a new iron ore mine would create, many peripheral industries stand to benefit as well from the re-emergence of an industry that played a significant role in our state’s heritage.

We addressed the need for better job-search tools for unemployed individuals by approving funding for a state of the art Labor Market Information System that will match online applicants to job postings in real time. We passed a law that will give companies experiencing a slow production cycle the flexibility to adjust their staffing levels instead of resorting to layoffs. And recognizing the critical role a The private sector is the strong transportation infrastructure in our state economy, we engine that drives the state’s plays passed a joint resolution (that economy… tax hikes and now goes to the Wisconsin voters as a referendum) to protect our overregulation impede job state’s Transportation Fund from creators’ efforts. raids to pay for other areas of state government.

In the coming months we will be focused on balancing our budget in a fiscally responsible manner, keeping property taxes in check, and continuing to improve the overall business climate. With a national economy that is still lagging, and the full implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act looming, we must be vigilant in ensuring our businesses can operate in an environment where they have the flexibility and tools needed for success. BV Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald represents the 13th Senate District, which covers parts of Dodge, Jefferson, Waukesha, and Columbia counties.

Wisconsin Business Voice



early 200 people attended WMC’s second annual Workforce Development Conference last month at Briggs & Stratton Corporation in Wauwatosa. Employers have experienced this Workforce Paradox for quite some time and today, thanks to the combined efforts of businesses, educators, local chambers of commerce, and state leaders, it has moved to center stage. Throughout Wisconsin, innovative educators are creatively addressing the skills gap and working with business and community leaders to ensure a qualified workforce. This year’s conference celebrated the progress that has been made and discussed the plans necessary to make Wisconsin competitive in the training and development of human capital. Conference highlights included a keynote address from Briggs & Stratton Chairman, President and CEO Todd Teske and “Ask the Expert” sessions, as well as tours of Briggs & Stratton and advice from today’s leading business and education leaders.

In keeping with innovative and forward thinking, Jim Morgan, WMC Foundation President, shared his adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ beloved poem “Green Eggs and Ham” tailored to please the Manufacturing-geared crowd. Morgan’s adaptation started out as follows… I do not like to make you know I do not want, that route to go!

And ended with the rousing,

WMC Foundation President Jim Morgan kicks off the second annual Workforce Paradox Conference.

I would run a CNC I would run a CAD And I would make things in the light, Where the factory is so bright. And I would make things where it’s clean. And where it’s safe and earn some green! And in a shop, that’s where I’ll be. It is so good to make, you see! And I will make here and there. Say! I will make ANYWHERE! I do so like to make, I do. The funny thing, I never knew!

The poem reflects the collective efforts of the WMC Foundation and all of WMC’s Workforce Paradox partners to change the younger generations’ negative and skewed perception of manufacturing careers in Wisconsin today. BV

Todd Teske, Briggs & Stratton CEO, delivered the keynote address at the conference.


Nearly 200 people attended the conference hosted by Briggs & Stratton in Wauwatosa.

Phone (608) office 266-1190 119 W 266-8077 210 N 266-5504 201 W 266-3756 9W 266-3784 104 N 266-3070 126 N 266-9172 107 W 266-7690 322 W 266-5350 216 N 266-5780 307 W 266-2540 312 N 266-8531 20 N 266-7746 122 N 266-3363 127 W 266-7694 15 W 266-7015 107 N 266-0631 124 N 266-0656 219 N 266-0616 304 W 266-0645 412 N 266-7678 120 N 266-5340 9N 266-2254 109 N 266-0610 113 W 266-7521 5N 267-9836 3N 266-9870 123 W 266-9650 316 N 266-5580 303 W 266-3790 113 N 266-8570 7W 266-3007 220 N 266-5719 15 N 266-2530 315 N 266-5813 128 N 266-8530 212 N 266-8551 307 N 266-0485 306 E 266-3796 218 N 266-1526 320 E 266-7503 8N 266-9180 321 E 266-8580 103 W 266-0215 208 N 267-5158 129 W 266-1194 18 W 266-9175 304 E 266-9967 209 N 266-7502 214 N 266-0634 6N 266-0640 11 W

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Representative Party-Dist August, Tyler R-32 Ballweg, Joan (Caucus Chair) R-41 Barca, Peter (Minority Leader) D-64 Barnes, Mandela D-11 Berceau, Terese D-77 Bernard Schaber, Penny D-57 Bernier, Kathy R-68 Bewley, Janet D-74 Bies, Garey R-1 Billings, Jill D-95 Born, Mark R-39 Brooks, Ed R-50 Clark, Fred D-81 Craig, Dave R-83 Czaja, Mary R-35 Danou, Chris D-92 Doyle, Steve D-94 Endsley, Mike R-26 Genrich, Eric D-90 Goyke, Evan D-18 Hebl, Gary D-46 Hesselbein, Dianne D-79 Hintz, Gordon D-54 Honadel, Mark R-21 Hulsey, Brett D-78 Hutton, Rob R-13 Jacque, Andre R-2 Jagler, John R-37 Johnson, Latonya D-17 Jorgensen, Andy (Caucus Chair) D-43 Kahl, Robb D-47 Kapenga, Chris R-99 Kaufert, Dean R-55 Kerkman, Samantha (Caucus Sgt at Arms) R-61 Kessler, Frederick D-12 Kestell, Steve R-27 Kleefisch, Joel R-38 Klenke, John R-88 Knodl, Dan R-24 R-30 Knudson, Dean Kolste, Debra D-44 R-14 Kooyenga, Dale Kramer, Bill (Speaker Pro Temp) R-97 Krug, Scott R-72 Kuglitsch, Mike R-84 Larson, Tom R-67 R-59 Lemahieu, Daniel Loudenbeck, Amy R-31 Marklein, Howard R-51 Mason, Cory D-66 Milroy, Nick D-73

Assembly email: Rep.[LAST NAME] Assembly Chief Clerk: (608) 266-1501


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State Legislature Representative Party-Dist Murphy, Dave R-56 Mursau, Jeffrey R-36 Murtha, John (Caucus VC) R-29 Nass, Stephen R-33 Nerison, Lee R-96 Nygren, John (JFC Chair) R-89 Ohnstad, Tod D-65 Ott, Alvin R-3 Ott, Jim R-23 Pasch, Sandy (Asst Min Leader) D-10 Petersen, Kevin R-40 Petryk, Warren R-93 Pope, Sondy D-80 Pridemore, Don R-22 Richards, Jon D-19 Riemer, Daniel D-7 Ringhand, Janis (Caucus Sec’y) D-45 Ripp, Keith R-42 Sanfelippo, Joe R-15 Sargent, Melissa D-48 Schraa, Michael R-53 Severson, Erik R-28 Shankland, Katrina D-71 Sinicki, Christine D-20 Smith, Stephen D-75 Spiros, John R-86 Steineke, Jim (Asst Maj Leader) R-5 Stone, Jeff R-82 R-58 Strachota, Pat (JFC VC) Stroebel, Duey R-60 Suder, Scott (Maj Leader) R-69 Swearingen, Rob R-34 Tauchen, Gary R-6 Taylor, Chris D-76 Thiesfeldt, Jeremy R-52 Tittl, Paul R-25 Tranel, Travis R-49 Vacant 98th A.D. Vos, Robin (Speaker) R-63 Vruwink, Amy Sue D-70 Wachs, Dana D-91 Weatherston, Thomas R-62 Weininger, Chad R-4 Williams, Mary (Caucus Sec’y) R-87 Wright, Mandy D-85 Young, Leon D-16 Zamarripa, JoCasta (Caucus VC) D-8 Zepnick, Josh (Caucus Sgt at Arms) D-9

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202-224-5653 501 E Washington Ave  Madison, WI 53703-2914 PO Box 352  Madison, WI 53701-0352 608.258.3400

Current as of January 1, 2013

Pocket Directory

2013-14 Wisconsin Legislative

Attorney General John B. Van Hollen, Dept of Justice, (608) 266-1221, 17 W Main St, Madison Wi 53703,

Governor Scott Walker (R), 115 E Capitol, Madison, WI 53702, 266-1212, email: Lt. Gov Rebecca Kleefisch (R), 19E, PO Box 2043, 266-3516 email:

Ryan, Paul (R) 1st Cong. Dist 1233 Longworth email through: Pocan, Mark (D) 2nd Cong. Dist 313 Cannon email through: Kind, Ron D (D) 3rd Cong. Dist. 1502 Longworth email through: Moore, Gwen (D) 4th Cong. Dist 2245 Rayburn email through: Sensenbrenner, F. James (R) 5th Cong. Dist 2449 Rayburn email through: Petri, Thomas (R) 6th Cong. Dist 2462 Rayburn email through: Duffy, Sean P. (R) 7th Cong. Dist 1208 Longworth email through: Ribble, Reid (R) 8th Cong. Dist 1513 Longworth email through:

House of Representatives of the 113th Congress House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

Baldwin, Tammy (D) 1 RUSSELL CRTYD email through: Johnson, Ron (R) 386 RUSSELL email through:

Senators of the 113th Congress Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510


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Federal/State Officials

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Children and Families

Bernier (C), Pridemore (VC), Thiesfeldt, Weininger, Tranel, Craig, Zamarripa, Kessler, Berceau

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEES Review of Administrative Rules LeMahieu (C), Kaufert (VC), August, Hebl, Kahl Aging and Long Term Care Endsley (C), Czaja (VC), Williams, Bernier, Petryk, Nerison, Bernard Schaber, Sargent, Kahl Agriculture Nerison (C), Tauchen (VC), Marklein, A. Ott, Murtha, Mursau, Ripp, Tranel, Brooks, Schraa, Vruwink, Jorgensen, Danou, Smith, Goyke, Wright Assembly Organization Vos (C), Suder (VC), Steineke, Kramer, Ballweg, Barca, Pasch, Jorgensen Audit Kerkman (C), Marklein (VC), Nygren, Richards, Sargent Campaigns and Elections Krug (C), Loudenbeck (VC), Endsley, Schraa, Spiros, Kerkman, Taylor, Billings, Johnson

Murtha (C), Sanfelippo (VC), Nass, Murphy, Jagler, Swearingen, Young, Bewley, Genrich

Colleges and Universities Nass (C), Murphy (VC), Knudson, Weatherston, Stroebel, Ballweg, Krug, Schraa, Bewley, Billings, Hesselbein, Wachs, Berceau Constitution and Ethics Kapenga (Co-C), Billings (Co-C), Jagler, J. Ott, Tauchen, Murphy, Wachs, Shankland Consumer Protection Thiesfeldt (C), Tittl (VC), A. Ott, Nerison, Weatherston, Jagler, Pope, Johnson, Wright Corrections Bies (C), Schraa (VC), Brooks, Krug, Thiesfeldt, Kleefisch, Doyle, Pasch, Zamarripa Criminal Justice Kleefisch (C), Spiros (VC), Jacque, J. Ott, Severson, Bies, Kessler, Goyke, Johnson Education Kestell (C), Jagler (VC), Severson, Nass, Pridemore, Marklein, Thiesfeldt, Pope, Clark, Wright, Hesselbein Employment Relations Vos (C), Suder (VC), Nygren, Barca Energy and Utilities Honadel (C), Larson (VC), Jacque, Weininger, Severson, Klenke, Petersen, Zepnick, Hulsey, Kahl, Shankland Environment and Forestry Mursau (C), Krug (VC), Czaja, Loudenbeck, Stroebel, Danou, Milroy, Clark Family Law Larson (C), Kestell (VC), Williams, Tittl, Craig, Tranel, Taylor, Pasch, Hebl Financial Institutions Craig (C), Kapenga (VC), Stroebel, Sanfelippo, Kramer, Kaufert, Marklein, Weininger, Born, Hintz, Zepnick, Young, Richards, Genrich, Sargent Government Operations and State Licensing August (C), Craig (VC), Knodl, J. Ott, Kooyenga, Hutton, Hulsey, Sinicki, Ringhand Health Severson (C), Stone (VC), Sanfelippo, Strachota, August, Kapenga, Petersen, Pasch, Taylor, Kolste, Riemer Housing and Real Estate Insurance Petersen (C), Weininger (VC), Czaja, Jagler, Honadel, Craig, Tranel, Born, Murphy, Stroebel, Danou, Berceau, Young, Doyle, Kahl, Ohnstad International Trade and Commerce Weininger (C), Kuglitsch (VC), Williams, Loudenbeck, Tauchen, Murtha, Jorgensen, Riemer, Sargent Jobs, Economy and Mining Williams (C), Knodl (VC), Larson, Sanfelippo, Kapenga, Kuglitsch, Petryk, Petersen, Stone, Jacque, Clark, Bernard Schaber, Zamarripa, Hintz, Hulsey, Ohnstad Judiciary J. Ott (C), Jacque (VC), August, Craig, Kerkman, Larson, Hebl, Wachs, Goyke Labor Knodl (C), August (VC), Kapenga, Nass, Kuglitsch, Kleefisch, Sinicki, Taylor, Ohnstad Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage A. Ott (C), Kleefisch (VC), Born, Bies, Williams, Mursau, Nerison, Petryk, Steineke, Swearingen, Milroy, Danou, Clark, Hebl, Shankland, Hesselbein

Public Safety and Homeland Security Jacque (C), Brooks (VC), Murtha, Bernier, Swearingen, Kessler, Zamarripa, Bewley Rules Suder (C), Vos (VC), Kramer, Steineke, Ballweg, Murtha, Williams, Barca, Pasch, Jorgensen, Zamarripa, Pope Rural Affairs Tauchen (C), Bernier (VC), Krug, Murtha, Ripp, Schraa, Mursau, Marklein, Vruwink, Jorgensen, Milroy, Bewley, Smith Small Business Development Stone (C), Endsley (VC), Hutton, Kaufert, Swearingen, Larson, Ripp, Czaja, Schraa, Tittl, Jorgensen, Ringhand, Sargent, Smith, Wright, Kolste State Affairs Kuglitsch (C), Swearingen (VC), August, Kleefisch, Knodl, Ripp, Zamarripa, Bernard Schaber, Kahl State and Federal Relations Tranel (Co-C), Young (Co-C), Mursau, Petersen, Tittl, Loudenbeck, Zepnick, Barnes State and Local Finance Stroebel (C), Born (VC), Kestell, Weatherston, Nass, Tauchen, Zepnick, Hintz, Berceau Tourism Kaufert (C), Bies (VC), Czaja, Kleefisch, Endsley, Born, A. Ott, Swearingen, Ballweg, Billings, Hulsey, Doyle, Hebl, Ohnstad Transportation Ripp (C), Thiesfeldt (VC), Spiros, A. Ott, Sanfelippo, Endsley, Larson, Kaufert, Stone, Bernard Schaber, Vruwink, Doyle, Danou, Riemer, Kolste Urban and Local Affairs Brooks (C), Hutton (VC), Jacque, J. Ott, Honadel, Murphy, Hintz, Ringhand, Barnes Urban Education Pridemore (C), Thiesfeldt (VC), Jagler, Kestell, Knodl, Weininger, Hutton, Sanfelippo, Sinicki, Pope, Pasch, Barnes, Johnson Veterans Petryk (C), Weatherston (VC), Suder, Bies, Endsley, Nerison, Pridemore, Brooks, J. Ott, Tittl, Ringhand, Milroy, Sinicki, Vruwink, Hesselbein, Goyke Ways and Means Marklein (C), Kerkman (VC), Ripp, Spiros, Stone, Honadel, Kestell, Hulsey, Riemer, Barnes, Genrich Assembly Workforce Development Loudenbeck (C), Petryk (VC), Honadel, Kuglitsch, Severson, Pridemore, Weatherston, Born, Bernier, Knodl, Ringhand, Billings, Kolste, Barnes, Shankland, Wachs SENATE COMMITTEES Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism Moulton (C), Tiffany (VC), Harsdorf, Petrowski, Schultz, Vinehout, Hansen, Lassa, Taylor Economic Development and Local Government Gudex (C), Petrowski (VC), Leibham, Lassa, Taylor Education Olsen (C), Farrow (VC), Darling, Vukmir, Gudex, Lehman, Cullen, Harris, Vinehout Elections and Urban Affairs Lazich (C), Leibham (VC), Lasee, Taylor, Miller Energy, Consumer Protection, and Government Reform Cowles (C), Kedzie (VC), Harsdorf, Hansen, Miller Financial Institutions and Rural Issues Schultz (C), Lasee (VC), Petrowski, Lassa, Jauch Government Operations, Public Works, and Telecommunications Farrow (C), Gudex (VC), Lasee, Kedzie, Wirch, Harris, Shilling Health and Human Services Vukmir (C), Moulton (VC), Lazich, Erpenbach, Carpenter Insurance and Housing Lasee (C), Olsen (VC), Schultz, Cullen, Erpenbach Judiciary and Labor Grothman (C), Vukmir (VC), Farrow, Risser, Harris Natural Resources Kedzie (C), Moulton (VC), Tiffany, Miller, Wirch Senate Organization Fitzgerald (C), Ellis, Grothman, Larson, Hansen State and Federal Relations Ellis (C), Cowles (VC), Carpenter, Risser, Schultz Transportation, Public Safety, and Veterans and Military Affairs Petrowski (C), Leibham (VC), Cowles, Carpenter, Hansen Universities and Technical Colleges Harsdorf (C), Schultz (VC), Gudex, Shilling, Erpenbach Workforce Development, Forestry, Mining, and Revenue Tiffany (C), Darling (VC), Grothman, Jauch, Lehman For more info go to

State Legislature STATE SENATE

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Assembly email: Rep.[LAST NAME] Assembly Chief Clerk: (608) 266-1501

Senator Carpenter, Tim Cowles, Robert Cullen, Timothy F. Darling, Alberta (JFC Chair) Ellis, Michael G. (President) Erpenbach, Jon B. Farrow, Paul Fitzgerald, Scott L. (Maj Leader) Grothman, Glenn (Asst Maj Ldr) Gudex, Rick Hansen, Dave (Asst Min Ldr) Harris, Nikiya (Caucus Sgt at Arms) Harsdorf, Sheila (Caucus VC) Jauch, Bob Kedzie, Neal Larson, Chris (Min Leader) Lasee, Frank G. (Caucus Chr) Lassa, Julie (Caucus Chair) Lazich, Mary Lehman, John W. Leibham, Joseph (Pres Pro Temp) Miller, Mark Moulton, Terry Olsen, Luther Petrowski, Jerry Risser, Fred A. Schultz, Dale W. Shilling, Jennifer Taylor, Lena C. Tiffany, Tom Vinehout, Kathleen (Caucus VC) Vukmir, Leah Wirch, Robert

JOINT COMMITTEES Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules

office 109 S 118 S 108 S 317 E 220 S 104 S 323 S 211 S 10 S 415 S 106 S 3S 18 S 310 S 313 S 206 S 316 S 126 S 8S 5S 15 S 7S 306 S 319 S 123 S 130 S 122 S 20 S 19 S 409 S 22 S 131 S 127 S

Vukmir (Co-C), Leibham, Tiffany, Harris, Vinehout, LeMahieu (Co-C), Kaufert, August, Hebl, Kahl

Joint Employment Relations Ellis (Co-C), Fitzgerald, Darling, Larson, Vos (Co-C), Suder, Nygren, Barca Joint Information Policy and Technology

Harsdorf (Co-C), Cowles, Gudex, Carpenter, Vinehout, Petersen (Co-C), Petryk, Weininger, Barca

Ellis (Co-C), Fitzgerald, Grothman, Larson, Hansen, Vos (Co-C), Suder, Steineke, Barca, Pasch

Joint Legislative Audit Committee Cowles (Co-C), Darling, Lazich, Vinehout, Lehman, Kerkman (Co-C), Marklein, Nygren, Richards, Sargent Joint Legislative Council Ballweg (Co-C), Olsen (Co-C), Vos, Suder, Kramer, Nygren, Loudenbeck, Stone, Berceau, Barca, Pasch, Mason, Darling, Farrow, Fitzgerald, Larson, Leibham, Miller, Petrowski, Risser, Shilling, Schultz Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties Kedzie (Co-C), Jacque (Co-C), Taylor, Goyke Joint Legislative Organization

Joint Survey on Retirement Systems Schultz (C), Farrow, Hansen, Stroebel (Co-C), Severson, Berceau Joint Survey on Tax Exemptions Lasee (C), Tiffany, Lehman, August (Co-C), Honadel, Bernard Schaber


Jim Pugh WMC Director of Public Relations & Issue Management

Roggensack Wins Re-election WMC Efforts Educate Public About Supreme Court


n April 2, Wisconsin voters handily re-elected Justice Pat Roggensack in a pivotal race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Roggensack defeated Marquette University Assistant Law School Professor Ed Fallone 57 percent to 43 percent. Her re-election preserves the 4-3 conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Roggensack’s victory ensures that pro-growth reforms like Act 10, lawsuit reform, iron mining reform and other key planks in the business agenda will be heard by a rule-of-law court for many years to come. The stakes were incredibly high in the April election, especially with a Constitutional challenge to Act 10 headed to the high court. During his campaign, Fallone wrote that Act 10 was constitutionally suspect. WMC played a leading role in organizing Wisconsin’s business community to educate themselves, their employees, friends and neighbors about Justice Roggensack. WMC worked in partnership with a strong pro-growth coalition to make sure the public understood the important issues at stake regarding the high court.

The election of judges was considered a reform in the 1840s when Wisconsin became a state and the elections here were a reaction to the corrupt practices involved in the political appointment of judges in New York and other eastern states. The state Constitution mandates only one Supreme Court seat up for election per year. That was intended to provide stability in the law so judges were not cast out in tidal waves of public opinion.

WMC Issues Mobilization Council, Inc. spent nearly $1 million to educate the public about Roggensack’s record on broadcast television and cable statewide. Additionally, WMC printed and mailed 16,000 special editions of Wisconsin Business Voice to WMC members and non-member businesses in the state in an effort to educate the Activist Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson reelected to the Court.

Conservative Justice Annette Ziegler elected to the Court.




Conservative Justice Michael Gableman elected to the Court, tipping the balance to a 4-3 conservative majority.



business community. WMC also created and distributed an online resource center for members and non-members to educate themselves and their employees. Since 2007, WMC has educated the public about the importance of the Wisconsin Supreme Court in four campaigns. Voters have embraced the traditionalist candidates and rejected the activist candidates for the high court in four consecutive races. In recent years, WMC educated the public about the records of Justice Annette Ziegler, Justice Michael Gableman and Justice David Prosser. Roggensack will enter her second 10-year term on the high court. She previously was elected and served as an appeals court judge and was an attorney in private practice. The Wisconsin Civil Justice Council (WCJC) gave Roggensack a 74 percent rating for her votes on business cases, the highest rating on the Supreme Court, for her rulings from 2010 through 2012.

The conservative majority on the high court could expand in the next few years as activist judges face voters in upcoming elections.

Justice Ann Walsh Bradley stands for re-election in 2015. She had only a 27 percent rating from the WCJC. Justice Patrick Crooks, who had a 55 percent WCJC rating in 2012, faces voters in 2016. If those two activist jurists are defeated, the Supreme Court would have a 6-1 conservative majority, with Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson as the sole activist. If a justice resigns, Governor Scott Walker would appoint a replacement without Senate review. WMC’s advocacy regarding the Wisconsin Supreme Court came in reaction to a series of activist rulings in 2005, which drew national attention to the radical rulings on civil justice issues and lead paint liability. Our efforts are an integral part of our pro-growth policies designed to help your business – we promote these policies at the Capitol and defend them in the courts. BV

Conservative Justice Pat Roggensack reelected to the Court. The 4-3 conservative majority stands.



Conservative Justice David Prosser re-elected to the Court in a hotlycontested race seen as a proxy vote on Governor Walker’s Act 10 collective bargaining reforms.


Activist-leaning Justice Pat Crooks up for re-election.



Activist Justice Ann Walsh Bradley up for re-election.


Justice Gableman up for re-election.


Justice Ziegler up for re-election.

2019 Chief Justice Abrahamson up for re-election.

Wisconsin Business Voice



Work Today By Randall Upton


he Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce is advancing a workbased job development program called Work Today for in-demand occupations relevant to the Rock County area. The major innovation of this program is its focus on assisting employers in recruiting and training employees to address specific employer needs, thereby addressing what WMC refers to as the “workforce paradox.” The workforce paradox is a situation in Wisconsin, and particularly Rock County, where high unemployment exists at the same time manufacturers and employers are limited by their ability to find skilled workers.

specific positions, program participants from the community will be effectively screened and matched against the employers’ needs. Program participants will include adult job seekers interested in gaining the knowledge and skills needed to obtain and retain employment, including individuals with limited experience and/or no previous work history. Project participants who are deemed appropriate for the employers’ positions will receive work-based learning, including soft-skills immersion training, before being presented to the employers for further evaluation and training.

Participating private sector businesses and the agencies are developing the program through the Work Today Employer The Chamber is advancing the “Work Alliance. These member businesses have Today” program in partnership with current or anticipated job openings, a the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce willingness to collaborate on the design Development Board, Community and implementation of workforce services Action Inc., Manpower Inc., community intended to provide job opportunities organizations and local privateto entry-level workers, and are sector businesses. committed to paying a An upcoming job membership fee. Unlike workforce

development fair has 60 registered As of the writing of this programs which members of the employers with more article, focus on the needs of Alliance include some of the individual job seekers than 1,000 open jobs. area’s largest employers, with and ways to solve the additional companies negotiating employability problems or membership. The Alliance also has the barriers of these job seekers, the Work Today financial support of AT&T Wisconsin. program focuses on employers and the job This issue of the workforce paradox is being skills that are needed by their employees. continually studied throughout the state. Work Today first identifies employers’ realtime job skill needs. Once a determination is made of what employers actually require for


The WMC Foundation has taken the lead in bringing awareness to the issue through the conduct of a series of listening sessions

in more than 50 communities and over 300 manufacturers. The Foundation has held two excellent conferences on the issue, the latest being at Briggs & Stratton Corporation in Wauwatosa on March 21. Work Today is a program being developed to solve the workforce paradox in Rock County where, as of February 2013, unemployment in the two largest cities in the county - Janesville and Beloit - stood at 10 percent and 13.3 percent respectively. Rock County overall had an unemployment rate of 9.8 percent in February. Yet, there were a total of 470 job postings with the Job Center of Wisconsin for Rock County in the first quarter of 2013, 60 of which were for the month of March in the Beloit area. Additionally, an upcoming job fair has 60 registered employers with more than 1,000 open jobs. We also know anecdotally that a large number of employers are looking for skilled employees, but do not avail themselves of government-assisted job postings.

As the program develops in Beloit and Rock County we intend on sharing our findings and processes to create a viable model for replication across Wisconsin. BV Randall Upton is President of the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce. He may be reached at (608) 365-8835. Visit www. for more information.

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Wisconsin Business Voice April 2013  

Business Voice is Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce's quarterly publication.

Wisconsin Business Voice April 2013  

Business Voice is Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce's quarterly publication.