MadREP Report: February 15, 2017
Apache Stainless: Steeled to Grow in Dodge County
Beaver Dam-based Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation builds custom original equipment for manufacturers in various industries. Located in rural Dodge County where manufacturing makes up over 34% of private sector employment, agricultural and industrial influences shape Apache's work with stainless steel for industrial markets in its four synergistic product groups.
With more than 170 employees, the company is a dedicated advocate of local, state and national economic growth. 
Locally, Apache is not only a steward of service, but an advocate for the skilled trades -- working closely with Beaver Dam High School and Moraine Park Technical College in an effort to educate students, parents and educators about manufacturing. It's also an active member of the Dodge County Manufacturing Business Alliance, promoting manufacturing careers in the community through communication, educational and public events. 
Apache's reach extends beyond Dodge County, actively partnering with MadREP, 
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction on statewide initiatives. In fact, Apache president Ed Paradowski recently collaborated on a proposal which helped the state land a $2 million New Skills for Youth grant to improve career pathways. It's no wonder Apache is widely recognized for its contributions to the regional economy -- named 2014 Business of the Year by Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce, honored by the Beaver Dam Unified School District with a Friends of Education award, and granted a Making a Difference award from the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin.

In the last five years, Dodge County has experienced over 10% employment growth in manufacturing -- and as part of a leading industry in the state -- Apache is indeed in good company.

Thank you to Pam Korth, Human Resources Manager at Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation for contributing to this story. 

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Regional Economy:
Alliant Energy campus could become economic driver

Results of a preliminary study about the future of the Dane County Coliseum and the Alliant Energy Center (AEC) suggests a $400M plan to renovate rather than replace the center's Memorial Coliseum and to expand the Exposition Hall by as much as 100,000 square-feet. The report from Chicago-based Hunden Strategic Partners also suggests adding one or two hotels to the 164-acre campus, as well as privately run dining establishments. Dane County Board chair and the chairwoman of the AEC Master Planning Oversight Committee Sharon Corrigan calls the report very encouraging. "The redevelopment could be an economic engine with the potential to create over 600 new jobs in the community," said Corrigan. Hunden is expected to present a formal market study and economic impact study by the end of February.

Community Highlight:
Portage Area Chamber of Commerce celebrates achievements as businesses and as a city

The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated the achievements of 2016 at its annual awards banquet last week. Portage Mayor Rick Dodd talked to the crowd of about 100 about accomplishments of the past year, which included a county-leading job growth of 1.15 percent. Among the economic wins for the city, Dodd tallied 16 expansions or renovations among Portage area businesses, three new manufacturers, Trienda's purchase of Penda, nine new retail stores, two community foundations for future investment, along with being featured in a BBC documentary looking at railroads and the canal. "All of this doesn't happen by accident," Dodd said, rounding out his review of non-profit projects that had ribbon cuttings in the past year. "It happens because organizations like this and others in the city, are committed to the city's success."

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Talent & Training:
UW System report: Degrees offered meet state workforce needs

The array of degrees offered by schools in the University of Wisconsin System is aligned with the projected workforce needs of the state, according to an internal report that compares UW offerings to projections of job openings in positions that require bachelor's, master's, Ph.D. or professional degrees by the state Department of Workforce Development (DWD). According to DWD's projections on workforce demand through 2021-2022, 64 percent of available jobs each year will require a bachelor's degree, 7 percent will require a master's degree, and 11 percent will require a doctorate or professional degree. In the UW System in 2015-2016, 26 percent of the total 1,263 bachelor, master's and doctorate or professional degree programs were in STEM (science, technology, engineering or math), 11 percent were in education, 9 percent were in business and health each, and 45 percent were in "other." "The UW System provides students with educational programs that prepare them for a variety of endeavors in life," the internal report concluded.

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Community Highlight:
'Perfect storm': Mount Horeb is rapidly redeveloping

The village of Mount Horeb is in the middle of a major transformation representing tens of millions of dollars of private investment. And a local volunteer organization created in 2012 helped make these development projects a reality: the Mount Horeb Area Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Among the EDC's major contributions are the $6 million GrandStay Hotel and Suites and the implementation of Tax Increment Financing in August 2016. It's all happened quickly, surprising even those at the EDC. "A lot of this I'm convinced is constant, persistent, everyday attention to some form of economic development," said Dave Hoffman, chair of the Downtown Revitalization Committee at the EDC. Today, the EDC is still working on downtown development, but it's also looking into the east and north sides of Mount Horeb. It has workforce development and outreach committees, with over 50 total members.

Startup Scene:
Sector67 finds new home 

After about four years of searching, Sector67 founder Chris Meyer has found a new home for his acclaimed hackerspace and community workshop. Meyer has negotiated a contract to purchase a warehouse on Corry Street on Madison's east side and is in the process of raising the funds to buy and renovate the building. He's hoping to build relationships with nearby East High School and the Goodman Community Center to expand his technology and engineering programs for kids. Meyer plans to fully renovate the 9,600-square-foot warehouse and raise the roof about 10 feet, which will provide a second-story mezzanine for storage and increase the building size to about 17,000 square feet. Designs submitted to the city of Madison show spaces for woodworking, welding, a classroom, a kitchen and a greenhouse. Much of the design and labor will be done by Sector67 members (they're pretty handy), and many of the construction materials and plumbing fixtures were reclaimed from the shuttered Madison Municipal Building.

Regional Economy:
Region utilizes financial tool to promote future growth 

While development of TIFs has slowed since the recession, many municipalities still believe it's a powerful tool for economic growth. When done properly, the area will grow, tax revenues will increase in said area, and the money put into the TIF will be paid back. Future tax revenue should then be substantially higher than it was before the area was developed. Wisconsin municipalities began implementing TIFs in the 1970s-1980s as a way to grow the local economy and create more tax base. Wisconsin Dells, Reedsburg, Portage, Baraboo and Prairie du Sac are among several Madison Region communities that have embraced TIFs with varying results. According to University of Illinois-Chicago economics professor David Merriman, TIF is popular because there aren't a lot of tools for economic development that officials have and it's fairly costless in the sense that they don't require a tax increase, but they create this potential money from future revenues.

WIN Luncheon: Cyber-threats
February 21, 11:30am-1:30pm
Sheraton Hotel Madison

The next Wisconsin Innovation Network luncheon will feature FBI special agent Byron Franz who will speak on foreign and domestic threats to businesses, institutions and homes. Attend this event to learn how to better protect your data and devices from cyber-attacks. Find out more
Things that surprise founders - Legal issues
February 22, 4-5:30pm
Discovery Building, Madison

This upcoming WARF Entrepreneurons session features a panel of experts who will discuss examples of lessons learned and experiences along the path to a successful exit that the founders never saw coming. Register by 2/20.  
Manufacturing Matters! 2017
February 23
Hyatt Regency, Milwaukee 

The theme of this year's conference is Shaping the Future, and will include trends, opportunities and solutions to help Wisconsin manufacturers thrive in a dynamic and challenging business environment. View the event flyer.

WEDC: Global Trade Venture to Canada
Registration Deadline: March 6

From April 30 to May 5, WEDC is leading a global trade venture to Canada, with segments in Toronto and Montreal. Participants will be scheduled for customized one-on-one meetings with perspective partners in the market, market intelligence and more. Register online. 

MITA: US-EU Trade Relations - a New Era?
March 17, 11:30am-2pm
Fluno Center, Madison

Changes in trade policy on both sides of the Atlantic could disrupt supply chains and affect export opportunities. Join Madison International Trade Association at its next program to hear from two expert speakers on US-EU trade relations. Learn more.  

Small Business Scholarship Program for BIO 2017

Application Deadline: March 24

The BIO 2017 Business Scholarship Program enables Wisconsin companies to participate fully in the BIO 2017 Conference to be held June 19-22 in San Diego. Awards will be based on articulated need, subject to application criteria. Learn more and apply online.
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Thank you to Madison Gas and Electric and to all of our investors.

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