MadREP Report: May 31, 2017
BRE in the 'Boo: Volunteers Visit 200+ Companies During Baraboo Area Business Walk

Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) initiatives are foundational to economic competitiveness, and MadREP partners with many entities on BRE initiatives -- most recently by supporting the implementation of Business Walks. This program, developed by Blueprint Events LLC, involves a coordinated one-day outreach to community businesses by volunteers who ask and report on 3-4 key BRE questions.

Last month, the City of Baraboo hosted the region's second-ever Business Walk with support from MadREP, the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Baraboo, Inc. and the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin. A timely initiative with the impending opening of the Highway 12 bypass, over 40 local business and civic leaders visited more than 200 businesses in the Baraboo area during this half-day BRE blitz of the city to ask the following questions:
  • How is business?
  • What do you like about doing business in Baraboo?
  • What can be done to improve business in Baraboo?
"In a very short amount of time, we were able to meet with over 200 local businesses and listen to their comments," notes Pat Cannon, Executive Director of the Baraboo Community Development Authority.  "For many of these small businesses, it was the first time someone had ever stopped by and ask how their business was doing. They were very happy to see us."

In its continued commitment to BRE, the City of Madison is holding a Business Walk in the Stoughton Road Corridor on June 22, with the goal of helping create a unified voice, building a stronger relationship between the business community and local government, as well as targeting and assisting companies at risk to help foster a more prosperous business climate.

For more information on MadREP's BRE initiatives, contact VP of Talent & Education Gene Dalhoff.
Congrats are in Order: Lucigen Receives President's "E" Award and Governor's Export Award for Export Excellence
Lucigen honored with 2017 President's "E" Award for Export Excellence
Lucigen received the 2017 President's "E" Award, the highest recognition honoring a U.S. entity for significant contributions to the expansion of U.S. exports. In addition, the company received the 2017 Governor's Export Award for achieving extraordinary results in international markets and elevating Wisconsin's competitiveness in the global economy.

Lucigen recognized the opportunity to export early in its history, appointing its first group of distributors in 2002. But, it was not until after Lucigen's participation in the Wisconsin Exportechâ„¢ program in 2013 that a focused effort was placed on exports. The company has recognized the potential to expand its presence to more complex markets like India and China, taking part in various trade missions sponsored by Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and by leveraging the resources available from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Commercial Services. Today, Lucigen is able to bring Wisconsin-made products to scientists around the globe, directly or through its network of 50 distributors.

Learn about expanding your company's global reach at, or contact MadREP Senior VP of Economic Development Michael Gay directly at 608.571.0402.

Regional Economy: 
Wisconsin game developers to hold their first regional conference in Madison

Games are not just for fun. They are a creative, educational, money-making, jobs-producing industry that is putting its imprint on Wisconsin and beyond. That's the message organizers of a regional conference -- scheduled for this fall in Madison -- want to deliver. The M+DEV Conference will be the first time game developers from around the region will gather for a daylong summit to be held at the Alliant Energy Center on Oct. 27. "One of our big initiatives is to promote Wisconsin as a premier hub for game development," said Jennifer Javornik, vice president of sales for Filament Games and co-director of the Wisconsin Games Alliance. "We want to create national and international awareness that Wisconsin has global level talent ... to make world-class games," she said. "Game development has grown by leaps and bounds in Wisconsin," and numbers more than 30 companies, said Timothy Gerritsen, also co-director of the Wisconsin Games Alliance. M+DEV is expected to draw at least 300 people to discuss the "technology, art, science and business of games development."
Read more.   
Inside Innovation:
UW expertise a secret ingredient and Kerry's R&D center in Beloit
An Irish-based food company with a North American headquarters in Beloit highlights the key role of food science in the Wisconsin economy, and the broad contributions of UW-Madison expertise to Wisconsin's giant agriculture and food industries. Since it was founded in 1972, Kerry has grown to a powerhouse with 24,000 employees on six continents, with as many as 190 scientists in dozens of labs, test kitchens and pilot plants at Kerry Inc.'s U.S. R&D center in Beloit. Kerry's customers typically have complex requirements for ingredients, such as a baking mix for a gluten-free, cinnamon-raisin bagel that would freeze well yet have a reduced ingredient list to satisfy the emerging demand for "clean label food." To meet exact specifications, Kerry is hungry for the best UW-Madison graduates, says Jack Maegli, a company veteran and a UW grad. To that end, Kerry maintains close ties to the university. Kerry has had relationships with UW-Madison for more than 20 years, working with departments including Food Science, the Center for Dairy Research and the Food Research Institute.  

Community Highlight: 
Study recommends action on Baraboo's east side 

A recently completed study of Baraboo's east side by MSA Professional Services indicates the neighborhood's weaknesses present opportunities. The bad news is there's a former lumber yard, convenience store and grocery store sitting empty; the good news is those sites are available for new tenants. The bad news is the highway's poor condition and design makes high traffic a hazard; the good news is, convincing the state to rebuild the road could revitalize the neighborhood, luring merchants to a bustling commercial corridor. The study recommends reinvigorating the neighborhood by using tax incentives to spur redevelopment, identifying sources of venture capital and pushing the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to rebuild Highway 33. Despite its challenges, the east side enjoys some advantages. It's home to the growing SSM Health-St. Clare Hospital campus and satellite clinics. Plus, most of the city's housing development is occurring on the east side, along Highway T.

Business Expansion:
Trailer production stacking up at Stoughton Trailers 

The lots at Stoughton Trailers' 300,000-square-foot semitrailer manufacturing facility are filled with new, 53-foot trailers marked for pickup by customers, which include Amazon and Schneider. In the last year, Stoughton Trailers has been ramping up production amid a flurry of new contracts. In the last few years the company has broadened from dry goods semitrailers, adding lines of livestock and grain truck trailers. And the company plans to begin production of freezer trailers at Evansville and Stoughton. The new contracts, the company's diversification and the resulting surge, have spilled over to a need for new hiring. Stoughton Trailers has grown to 1,600 workers with plans to continue hiring over the next 12 months to bring on 150 new employees for all its major production positions. It's been a challenge to keep pace on hiring because the labor market in Rock, Dane and Green counties has reached historic lows in joblessness. CEO Robert Wahlin said Stoughton Trailers' corporate forecast remains bright enough that it's in preliminary stages of planning a new, 110,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in Stoughton, Evansville or Brodhead.

Company Profile:
Placon says growing demand for products behind need to add 130 jobs 
The Fitchburg-based maker of custom plastic packaging products used by the food, retail and medical products industries said growing demand from its customers is behind its need to hire 130 more workers before year's end. At least 72 will be in the Madison area, with the rest spread across the company's other facilities. Placon, which has facilities in Madison and Fitchburg, recently added several new production lines locally and needs more workers. Placon employs 622 people, with about 374 in the Madison area. Chairman and CEO Dan Mohs said its food packaging lines are experiencing the most growth but its retail and medical sectors also are expanding. He said existing customers are asking for more products but the company also has secured new clients."It's exciting to be managing all the growth we're experiencing," he said. "We're seeing more consumption in the economy and our growth is a result of that and we're responding to it." 

Read more.

Industry Spotlight:
Beer Industry Contributes $10 Billion Annually to Wisconsin Economy 
A new economic impact study shows America's beer industry -- made up of brewers and importers; distributors; and retailers -- contributes more than $10.5 billion annually to Wisconsin's economy and supports 69,163 jobs in the state. Jointly commissioned by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Institute, the study shows that the 69,163 jobs impacted by the beer industry in Wisconsin account for more than $2.7 billion in wages and benefits. The industry also generated more than $1.25 billion in business and personal taxes and paid $358 million in consumption taxes in 2016. According to the study, the national beer industry generates more than $350 billion in economic activity, produces nearly $63 billion in tax revenue and supports 2.23 million jobs. Brewers and beer importers directly employ 64,745 Americans. About 58 percent of brewing jobs are linked to large and mid-sized brewers and beer importers, and independent beer distributors directly employ 134,240 Americans. 

Call for entries: Community & Economic Development Awards
Deadline: June 9

Wisconsin Economic Development Association invites you to showcase your community and recognize individuals, businesses, organizations and projects propelling Wisconsin's economy forward. Learn more.
MITA: India - the Future is Now!
June 13, 11:30am-2pm
Fluno Center, Madison

If you are curious about exploring India as the next big global market and would like revealing insights into the opportunities and challenges of doing business there, attend this Madison International Trade Association event to discover why: India - the Future is Now. Find out more.
Week of Wins Bike Tour
June 14, 5:15-7:45pm
Lowell Elementary School, Madison

Join Sustain Dane for an exciting bike tour as it kicks off its annual Week of Wins. See the impacts of Sustain Dane's work and experience a one-of-a-kind neighborhood tour of local sustainability success stories. Register online.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Road Tour
July 18, 8am-4pm
The Park Hotel, Madison

Do not miss this opportunity to learn how to access $2.5B in early stage technology funding; meet with agency Program Managers one-on-one; network with industry experts; hear SBIR awardee panels speak on past experiences and best practices; and receive valuable training from SBIR/STTR experts. Find out more.
UW System Wisconsin Idea Dairy Summit
June 19, 8:30am-3:30pm  
1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison 
This Summit looks to foster dialogue and partnerships toward a more prosperous future and strengthen this vital Wisconsin industry. Experts will present the latest in research and dairy production techniques and participants will have the opportunity to discuss how the industry could look in the future. Register online.
Dane County Small Business Awards 2017
June 27, 8-9:30am
Sheraton Hotel, Madison

In its 35th year, the Dane County Small Business Awards celebrate small businesses and the contributions they make to our communities and economy. Award winning companies will be honored at this breakfast program, attended by an average of 250 people. RSVP here.
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Thank you to UW-Madison, WARF, and University Research Park and all of our investors.


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